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k I. 





XHe Way of tKe 

A Manual for Sportsmen in Northeastern 
United States and Canada 


Erdi^ard DrecK 

With 80 Illustrations 

j G, P. Putnam's Sons 

i New York and London 

TLbc fcnicfierbocfiet ptesa 
ft 1908 

Copyright, xgoS 



Published, March, xgoS 
Reprinted, May, xgoS 

TTbc Knfclterbocket f>reM, Hew l^rlt 



A little time ago, while rummaging among some ancient papers, I 
chanced upon a faded little note-book containing a synopsis of a pro- 
jected poetical romance written in the scrawling hand of my early 
teens, when the ecstasy of authorship first intoxicated my dreamy 
young brain. Across the first page was inscribed in would-be ornate 
letters the l^end : 

"To Nature and the Gods I Dedicate this Work!" 

And now in sered middle-age I smile to think that my boyish 
paganism has returned to me, and that I might in all seriousness set 
that flamboyant inscription in this place, were it not that, as long as 
this hand shall hold a pen, no task of mine can be consecrated to any 
other than to her whose long life has been an epic of devotion to the 
one that has gone before, and the one that is left. 

I dedicate this little book 
to my sweet mother 








CLOTHING . . . . . . -15 





CANOES ....... 87 

PROVISIONS . . . . . . . " 

vi Contents 



MAKING CAMP . . . . . . 150 

WOODCRAFT ....... 163 


FISHING . . . . . . . 189 


MOOSE-HUNTING . . . . . • 321 

DEER-HUNTING ...... 344 




BEAR, COUGAR ...... 363 


Contents vii 



GAME BIRDS ....... 369 



PHOTOGRAPHY ...... 397 


ON NATURE-BOOKS . . . . . 4^5 




facing 4> 

















60 -WnSA 





^ M^C \^ ^' \^o 

X Illustrations 


USING THE GRAFLEX . . . . ** 402 

lO-POUND LAKE-TROUT . . . " 402 








5 WAR-BAG .... 























Illustrations xi 


20 position of paddles for carrying . 94 

21 carrying; micmac style ... 94 

22 position of hands at end of stroke . 98 

23 frying-pan and detachable handle . 121 

24 folding baker . , . . . 1 23 

25 fire-hook . . . . . . 124 

26 modified nessmuk range . . . 1 26 

27 candlestick op bark and split stick . 157 

29 british handle with butt-button . 1 98 

30 swelled handle . . . . 1 99 

31 shaped handle . . . . . 1 99 

32 british reel ..... 204 
^^ american trout reel with protected 

HANDLE ...... 205 

34 THE ** expert" reel .... 2o6 

35 angler's knot ..... 213 

36 another leader knot . . . 213 

37 detail of single water-knot . . 215 
^s double water-knot .... 2l6 

39 loop-knot for dropper-fly . . 2l6 

40 winged fly with helper . . . 222 

41 JAM-KNOT . . ... . . 223 

42 TURLE-KNOT . . . . . 224 

43 EYED-FLY BOX ..... 228 

44 BAR AND CLIP FLY-BOOK . . . 228 

45 HARRIMAC NET-FRAME . . . 230 




46 **I-D-L*' NET-FRAME . . . . 23 1 

47 WOODEN-FRAME NET . . . . 232 




PING . . . . . . . . 23s 

51 TEMPORARY GUIDE . . . . 236 








59 BUTT-REST ...... 278 

60 SALMON-FLY ..... 280 

61 SALMON-GAFFS ..... 281 

62 TOP OF BACK-CAST .... 283 

63 FINISH OF WIND-CAST .... 284 



66 CASTING-REEL . . . . . 297 

67 CASTING-SPOON ..... 297. 



Illustrations xiii 





and johnson^s hand-book of first 
aid'*) 415 

72 spanish windlass, to stop bleeding from 

arm arteries (**hand-book of first 
aid") 41 S 


artery). ('*HAND-B00K OF FIRST AID") 4x5 


^ "The people who always live in houses, and sleep 
on beds, and walk on pavements, and buy their food 
from butchers and bakers and grocers, are not the 
most blessed inhabitants of this wide and various 
earth. . . . What do these tame ducks really know 
of the adventure of living? If the weather is bad, 
they are snugly housed. If it is cold, there is a fur- 
nace in the cellar. If they are hungry, the shops 
are near at hand. It is all as dull, flat, stale, and 
unprofitable as adding up a column of figures. They 
might as well be brought up in an incubator. " 

Let these words of Dr. van Dyke's take the place 
of the ecstatic dithyrambs which every nature- writer 
is tempted to embody in an introduction to a book of 
this kind. Thoreau and Emerson and Holmes and 
Burroughs and Kipling have variously and beauti- 
fully given tongue to the sweet command, 

•* Ct>me back to your mother, ye children, for shame ! " 

and the many younger apostles of the "Nearer to 
Nature" faith are still repeating it in fairer words 
than I can command. 

No, let the silver-tongued sing; my call to pen this 
manual was distinctly a practical one. I could not 
find among the many volumes devoted to wilderness 
life a single one of note which treated of the allied 
subjects with which the sojourner in the woods must 

xvi Introduction 

perforce have to do, notably fishing, hunting, photo- 
graphy, and the protection of nature. It has therefore 
been my primary object to prepare a book that shall 
contain simple and elementary, yet thorough and 
up-to-date, instruction in all subjects connected with 
wilderness life. This instruction is supplemented by a 
list of the most authoritative works in each branch 
of woodland knowledge, to the preparation of which 
I have given much care, and which will enable the 
reader to pursue further any subject that may partic- 
ularly interest him. 

I have striven also to correct what always seemed 
to me a weakness of writers on these topics, who, 
while telling their readers what articles of outfit and 
equipment they should procure, fail to add the 
radically important information as to where to find 
these articles and the approximate cost of them. 
While the logical elaboration of this (in my eyes) 
valuable feature has inevitably resulted in the frequent 
recommendation of certain business houses, I wish 
to state that no single article has been favourably 
mentioned in the following pages that has not been 
thoroughly tried out by myself in the woods, or, in a 
few cases, by expert friends in whose judgment I 
have entire confidence. It must, however, be un- 
derstood that, in the lists given, no pretence to 
infallibility is made. There are doubtless many ex- 
cellent things to be had that I am not personally ac- 
quainted with ; but it seemed proper to confine myself 
strictly to naming those articles the quality of which 
I could personally vouch for. The one object in view 
was, of course, to put my readers in possession of the 
very fullest and most reliable information. 

In regard to the prices mentioned, the reader 


Introduction xvii 

is asked to regard these as only fairly approximate, 
for the reason that, while great pains have been taken 
to ascertain all prices actually obtaining at the time 
of the issue of this manual, it must be remembered 
that these are apt to fluctuate to a greater or less 

The style of the manual has been kept as simple 
and terse as possible, and the effort made not to 
confuse the novice with a mass of information, 
especially of a technical nature. There are often, 
for example, several good ways of doing a thing; but 
it would seem wiser to point out the best one, in- 
stead of perplexing the beginner's mind by an enumer- 
ation of them all. 

In conclusion I wish to express my grateful ac- 
knowledgments to the .many friends who have as- 
sisted me, by advice as well as in more practical ways, 
in the compilation of this little book, and especially 
to Mrs. John Blair, Mr. Albert Bigelow Paine, Dr. 
John Pinckney, Mr. John S. Perry, Mr. Caspar 
Whitney, and Mr. Perry D. Frazer. 

Edward Breck. 




The pursuit of health and happiness, of the count- 
less delights to be secured in no other way than by 
living the free life of the woods — this is our object. 
It is to forget the ticker and the ledger; to get out of 
our ears the jingle of the telephone and the clang 
of the electric, the querulous voice of the nerve- 
racked struggle-for-lifer, and the noises of the filth- 
encrusted pavement; to banish from our eyes the 
tense, distracting scenes and from our nostrils the 
noisome smells of city life — ^in a word to escape from 
soul-racking artificiality to the soothing ministrations 
of the Great Mother. 

For the average man it is not good to be alone in 
the woods. Unless one is a hermit by nature the 
pleasure of the trip will be greatly en- Compan- 
hanced by having a companion with whom ions 

to share the beauties, the successes, and even 
the hardships of the trail. The joy of shared 
anticipation and preparation is double, and also that 
of fighting the battle over again after the return. 
The choice of a companion is most important, for a 
mistake cannot commonly be rectified. Next to 
the choosing of a wife it is life*s most delicate problem, 
for in no other situation does a man SD inevitably 

3 — 

4 The Way of the Woods 

show forth his character, and especially his petty 
foibles, as when sharing a tent in the wilderness. Let 
him be as good an actor as he will, if he possesses a 
trace of slovenUness, of selfishness, of uncontrolled 
petulance, of a tendency to **boss the gang," or to 
find fault, or, worst of all, to sulk, it will surely 
appear. After a few disappointments in the choice 
of companions it is no wonder that many lovers of 
nature, especially those whose vacation comes but 
once a year, prefer to go it alone. Verily one's 
companion can either make or mar the pleasure of 
the outing. 

The northern wilderness is enjoyable at all seasons, 
though perhaps least so from Christmas to Easter, 
- on account of the comparative absence of 

animal and bird life and the lack of fishing. 
Nevertheless there is a charm in the silent, frozen 
places, where snow-shoe and skate and toboggan put 
blood into the cheeks and ozone into the lungs, and 
we "pile the huge logs higher till the chimney roars 
with glee. *' Spring is the season for the fisherman, 
as well as those who love to view intimately the 
coming of the birds and flowers, and the transcendent 
loveliness of that sublime miracle, the awakening of 
Nature. To be sure the law of compensation wills 
it that so much sunshine must have its contrasting 
shadows, one of which is represented by that won- 
derful but annoying little pest, the black-fly, whose 
activity causes many nature-lovers to choose the 
late summer and autumn for their outing. In early 
summer comes the mosquito, but it is negotiable, 
and in the north very seldom apt to be of the poisonous 
variety. Summer is the children's season, and, in 

Planning the Outing 5 

consequence, that of most family camping-parties. 
The birds and flowers are at their best, and the fishing 
is often good, though not to be compared with that 
of spring or September. The nights are cool but not 
cold, and life in the open is least strenuous. Autumn 
is undoubtedly the most beautiful season in the north 
country. The summer's heat has gone, and so have 
the flies and mosquitoes. The forest is robed in 
unrivalled splendour. The trout are again in the 
running water and eager for the fly. The great game 
animals are no longer protected by the pinions of 
the law. The woodcock and grouse and duck are 
prime for the sportsman and the roasting-spit. The 
frosty nights make the blood course with unwonted 
vehemence, and give the camp-fire an increased 
fascination and solace-. If you are a hunter of course 
the autumn is your season. 

Like the question of season, the choice of district 
must depend somewhat upon the object of the outing, 
whether primarily canoeing; fishing for 
trout, ouananiche, or salmon; hunting the °^* ^ 
deer, caribou, or moose; shooting game-birds; pho- 
tographing wild things; or camping-out for its own 

Those who commonly repair to the wilderness to 
spend the vacation may be divided into three classes : 
first, the adventurous, who yearn for the prknitive, 
the unexploredr the dangerous ; secondly, those who, 
while seeking the real wilderness, have not the time 
for expeditions into the unknown ; and, thirdly, those 
who care less for the adventurous or the sporting 
aspects of woodland life, but love rather to pitch 
their tents in more accessible places and spend their 

6 The Way of the Woods 

time in getting on more intimate terms with Nature. 
Mo'^t often this last class will contain women or 

As to the adventurers of the first class, it is hard 
to give them cut and dried advice. Absolutely 
virgin country is naturally easy enough to find in 
the far north, in regions of which I shall not attempt 
to speak in the following pages. There are parts of 
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and New- 
foundland which even to-day are known only to the 
trapper and the ** timber-cruiser," on account of their 
inaccessibility; which entails a greater expenditure 
of money and time, as well as much harder work. 

The second of our three classes is comprised mostly 
of sportsmen, hunters, fishermen, canoeists, whose 
choice of territory is wide. (See below under Cost.) 

Supposing you have decided to spend your 
vacation in the woods of the north, but are 
tmacquainted with a suitable starting-point or 
abiding-place. What is to be done? 

There are several sources of information, among 
them being your own personal friends, advertise- 
ments of hotels, railways, and tourist-associations, 
private accounts in sporting books and periodicals, 
and, lastly, personal application to local fish and 
game commissioners, editors of sporting periodicals, 
and authors. 

Most tourists will have instinctively coupled the 
sport of their hearts with some district well-known as its 
home, for example the Rangeley Lakes or the Nepigon 
River for giant trout, the Magdalen Islands for shore 
birds. New Brunswick and Newfoundland for salmon, 
Maine for deer. New Brunswick, • Quebec, Nova 
Scotia, and Maine for moose, and so on. But, since 


Planning the Outing 7 

most of us are prone to avoid places where sportsmen 
most do congregate, we seek rather for less-known 
and less-spoiled pastures. Obviously the first step 
is the consultation of some friend known to us as a 
tourist of northern woods and waters. FaiUng here 
we turn to the advertising material of hotels, rail- 
ways, and tourist-associations, whether in the form 
of newspaper and magazine advertisements, sports- 
man's-show exhibits, or illustrated booklets. The 
last are naturally written from the most interested 
view-point, and their compilers are past masters in 
the art of making their readers' mouths water; but 
they nevertheless contain a mass of well-presented 
information that is genuine, and many of them, es- 
pecially those of the railways, are excellently got up. 
They may be had of the various companies, the best 
of them being advertised in the spring and summer 
magazines and sporting weeklies. Of course readers 
of the sporting periodicals, like Outing, Forest and 
Stream, Country Life in America, Recreation, Field 
and Stream, and Rod and Gun in Canada^ will be 
more likely to be familiar with the famous sporting 
grounds of the north, and some excellent description 
of an outing will surely have inspired them with a 
desire to visit that partictdar locality. Our last 
source of information, personal inquiry of game com- 
missioners, editors, and authors, is likely to be the 
most reliable, especially the last two classes, 
who have no axes to grind. A letter of inquiry, 
as terse and short as possible, and always ac- 
companied by a stamped envelope, will, I venture 
to say, invariably bring an answer from the editor 
of any of the periodicals just mentioned. (See 
Bibliography in Part II.) Most authors, too, if 

8 The Way of the Woods 

they receive letters, will cheerfully impart any in- 
formation in their power. They may be addressed in 
care of the publishers of the books or articles which 
have prompted the inquiries. The sporting-goods 
houses are equally ready to help in this direction. 

As a last resort I shall myself always be happy 
to answer, to the best of my ability, letters addressed 
to me at Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, on any 
subject connected with wilderness life and sports. 

As a rule it will be found that elder sportsmen and 
nature students are delighted to hold out an en- 
couraging hand to the apprentices of the guild. 

Season, locality, and duration of the trip having 
been determined, the next problem is that of the 
outfit, to the proper selection of which 
^ I have tried to make the chapters of this 
manual, and especially those of Part I., a reliable 
guide. But, though the reader cannot go far wrong 
in following its directions, no ** book-learning" can 
entirely take the place of experience. For this 
reason many who go afield for the first time will limit 
their purchases to personal belongings, and leave 
the matter of tents, provisions, canoes, and kit to some 
well-recommended hotel-keeper or head-guide, who 
is accustomed to provide the camping outfit for so 
much the day for each person, a system which has 
its advantages, as, though it is apt to be considerably 
more expensive, it relieves the sportsman of the task 
of collecting his outfit and transporting it to the 
*'jiunping-off station." A fii^t outing. ijL the woods 
should be regarded as educatiDnat;"aii3rsince in- 
dividual tastes differ widely, it is better not to make 
many costly purchases. On the return the camper 

Planning the Outing 9 

will have accumulated experience and id«as of his 
own, and will know better what he wants. He will 
then enter into the joy of collecting a complete 
outfit, one of the purest known to the guild, for 
among true sportsmen anticipation is almost equal 
to realisation, ^nd the best of it is, that the interest 
remains the same, wkether the uutfit be modest or 
elaborate. The_ wealthy may buy silk tent s and 
$300 guns, but the man of very moderate means finds 
as much enjoyment, nay, more, in cutting out, piecing 
together, and waterproofing his own tent, and in 
making his own flies and leaders of material bought ^ 
for the purpose. Happy indeed is he who, in early 
spring, or even midwinter, begins to take ^account 
of his piscatorial or venatic stock while planning 
the coming trip. Guns are taken down, examined, 
and cleaned ; rods are unrolled and momentous ques- 
tions of new tops, rewindings, and vamishings de- 
cided. The reels too come in for a loving inspection, 
and the fly-books are brought out with due care and 
solemnity, and their precious contents spread out 
in all their perfect or dishevelled beauty, each bearing 
its tale of triumph or chagrin. Scenes of blood- 
tingling excitement re-enact themselves at sight of 
these exquisite instruments of the angler's art, 
while the eye unconsciously seeks the mounted antlers 
on the wall or the framed photograph of the pool 
where the thirty-pounder was finally brought to gaff! 
. The majority of campers confine their outfit to 
clothing and sporting implements, but the man who 
goes farther and has his own bags, blankets, tents, 
cooking-kit, and even canoe, possesses far greater 
possibilities for enjoyment, if only in the keeping 
up and improvement of his equipment. - 

lo The Way of the Woods 

From the practical side the attainment of a full 
measure of enjoyment and recuperation is best se- 
cured by a right apportionment of reasonable com- 
fort and physical exertion. Many there are, no 
doubt, who delight to make trial of their strength 
and endurance, and boast, Uke Nessmuk, of taking 
ten-day trips through the unbroken wilderness 
with a single cooking utensil, a ten-cent tin, or of 
habitually carrying bigger packs than those of the 
guides. There is a satisfaction in such feats, but 
they belong in the category of the exceptional. 
Moreover they are not to be recommended even to 
the robust. **Your old-timer, white or red," rightly 
says Coquina, **who takes one blanket, his rifle, a 
bag of crackers, and a little salt, goes into the woods 
or mountains and subsists for days, weeks, or months 
on Nature's resources, is proverbially a short-lived 
man. He looks and feels older than he is." The 
average camper, who starts on his woodland journey 
with muscles softened by a more or less sedentary 
habit of life, should be content if he can do his fair 
share of the daily tasks, and thus find at night the 
sweet reward of that delicious weariness which en- 
sures a sound, dreamless, and refreshing sltmiber. 
The wise man hesitates to overtax his powers at 
first, but essays to do more and more work as his 
muscles harden, when he may place his ambitions 
as high as he likes. To be ** dog-tired" at the close 
of the day's exertions is not an unwholesome sign, 
provided that one rises refreshed and full of enterprise 
next morning. There is a large class of tourists, 
mostly indolent of spirit or out of drawing round their 
waistbands, who work far too little in the woods and 
thus, while they profit by their outing, miss the full 

Planning the Outing 1 1 

measure of its advantages. It is well to remember 
that life in the woods sharpens the appetite, and 
that the consequences of this must be worked off. 
At least one good sweat every day is the secret. If 
your appetite is not good the reason is pretty sure to 
be that you are not doing your share of the work. It 
is seldom that a man who sweats thoroughly once a 
day cannot eat and sleep well. 

The great question, upon which the solution of 
our problem primarily depends, is what to take with 
us, in order to strike a proper balance between com- 
fort and work. Undoubtedly one shotdd not miss 
the opportunity of getting on with as few as possible 
of the myriad complicated luxuries which render 
urban Ufe so artificial, and which are in themselves 
entirely unnecessary. Therefore heed the good old 
advice to go light. To be sure the art of going light 
and yet be comfortable is the very essence of wood- 
craft. As Nessmuk insisted, the problem is not 
to ** rough it," but to ** smooth it." Do not be 
bullied by that class of sporting writers and ** tough" 
woodsmen whose chief delight is to deride the tender- 
foot, and who have only scorn for any one who dares 
to do a thing in any other way than just theirs. 
A vast deal of cant has been written about matching 
one's strength against the forces of Nature. The 
true problem is to woo Nature to help us, to har- 
monise with her ways, and thus to lead a natural, 
comfortable, and wholesome life. Heed not the 
*' tough" camper who flings himself down *'any old 
place" and mocks you on your bed of thick, soft 
boughs or of air; and if you prefer to spend a morning 
in loafing about camp or engaged in that delightful 
pastime called by Charles Dudley Warner the **art 

1 2 The Way of the Woods 

of sitting on a log, " do not let your soul be ruflled by 
his derisive guffaw. 

Therefore, while striving to go light and to become 
independent of really unnecessary appurtenances of 
city life, by no means neglect comfort. On a first 
or second trip there is even no harm in taking too 
much. The art of elimination is not learned in a 
day, but comes inevitably with experience. There 
is a charm, too, in trying out new things. It is a 
part of the game. Improvements in forest para- 
phernalia appear every year, and to flout them is 
folly. Why not cleave for ever to the muzzle-loaders, 
the black powder, and the heavy fishing-rods of our 

My advice is to send for the catalogues of the manu- 
facturers of and dealers in camping and sporting 
articles, whose advertisements are found in the 
sporting periodicals, and to study them closely. 
While they contain many things that are unnecessary 
and sometimes bad, they also offer the latest and 
best, and are inspiring as well as instructive. 

The financial question is, of course, a very im- 
portant one. The tourist who has had no experience 
of camping or canoeing would be very 
°^ foolish to undertake a trip of any length 

without the services of one or more guides, or at 
least the help of some experienced friend. Even an 
old camper will find the help of a guide a great com- 
fort, especially if he intends to do much fishing or 
shooting, for the management of a loaded canoe while 
on the move, plus the work necessary to pitch, 
maintain, and strike camp, including the cutting of 
wood, drawing water, and cooking, will, if he does 

Planning the Outing 13 

everything properly and feeds himself well, prove a 
severe tax upon his time and energies. The tendency 
under such circumstances it to get along with the 
minimum, to save time and trouble, a method which 
often leads to underfeeding. There are few amateur 
woodsmen really competent to undertake a long 
journey in the woods without professional help, 
unless two or more be banded together, and for these 
this manual has not primarily been compiled. Of 
course a single camping-out season may serve to 
promote the neoph3rte from the tenderfoot class, 
and the future extent of his undertakings will be 
limited by his ambitions and his physical powers. 
I do not mean to discourage '* going it alone" as soon 
as this can be done with profit, but life in the woods 
is Uke most other arts; it must be learned, and pro- 
gress will be the faster for a course of instruction under 
a competent master, either amateur or professional. 
There are many things, such as fire-making, fly- 
casting, paddling, etc., which can perhaps be learned 
in time by experience alone, though by no means 
so readily or thoroughly as when taught by a good 
master; while others, such as using the axe, packing 
a horse or mule, and various kinds of shooting and 
hunting, can never be really mastered without the 
aid of practical lessons. In many provinces, such 
as Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, non- 
residents are not allowed to hunt without guides, 
nor in some regions even to camp. 

In Nova Scotia, and the less known portions of 
some other provinces, guides charge $1.50 a day for 
fishing trips and $2 for hunting. As one goes west 
these charges increase. It follows that the most 
inexpensive expeditions may be undertaken in 

14 The Way of the Woods 

Nova Scotia, from $2.75 to $3.50 per day and person 
covering all expenses including a guide and canoe 
for each member of the party, tents, blankets, cook- 
ing-kit, food for all hands, and teaming of persons, 
canoes, and duffle. The cost of a trip to New Bruns- 
wick, Quebec, or Newfoundland will be from one 
to three dollars a day more than this; while Maine 
prices are about the same as those of New Brunswick. 
In the hunting season the required license-fees for 
non-residents must be added to the expenses. These 
are in New Brunswick and Newfoundland, $50 ; Nova 
Scotia, $30; Quebec, Ontario, and Michigan, $25; 
Maine, $15 (see Game Laws in Brief, Forest and 
Stream Co., 346 Broadway, New York City, 25 cts, 
for latest game-laws of U. S. and Canada). 



The most suitable clothing is that which is simplest 
and lightest, consistent with durability and pro- 
tection against the elements. A somewhat wide 
choice is offered and the selection depends upon the 
object and locality of the expedition, the season, 
and the individuality of the sportsman. Under 
separate headings, e, g,, " Moose- Hunting, '* "Ang- 
I ling,'* will be found remarks upon the clothing best 

suited to the various branches of sport. Let us 
prepare, in imagination, for a canoe trip in spring or 
sunmier, and note winter variations as we proceed. 
The reader's attention is called to the costtmies worn 
by the persons depicted in our illustrations. 

At all seasons of the year soft, pure woollen under- 
clothing is best and in cold weather indispensable. 
It is very porous and absorbent, and thus Under- 
ventilates the skin and absorbs moisture clothing 
readily, both water and perspiration. You may 
wade a cold stream for hours and yet not take 
cold, while every other cloth gets clammy and 
I uncomfortable. Many complain that wool irritates 

! the skin beyond bearing, but perseverance and a 

i little will-power will overcome that. In very warn 

I weather it is not neces^.ry, but even in sun- 

£6 The Way of the Woods 

3old nights and even days occur frequently in the 
north woods. I prefer my underclothing very thin 
and of the softest, finest variety, like the Jaeger. 
In cold weather I put on two suits, or, if need be in 
winter, even three, which are warmer than one gar- 
ment of their combined thickness. Northern morn- 
ings have a way of starting in cold and raw, calling 
for about everything that one can conveniently pull 
on; then one can **peer' as the sun sends the ther- 
mometer soaring. 

Wear all underclothing before taking it into the 
woods, and have it washed several times, to be sure 
of the fit. Drawers should not be too tight round 
the knees. In summer it is well to have one under- 
shirt with short arms, as one often goes with roUed-up 
- sleeves. Nor does the forearm require so much 
\ protection. In case, however, you are wont to 
i perspire freely, both undershirts had better have 
long sleeves. No more than two need be taken, as 
one can always be washed at night. For sleeping 
an extra silk or cotton undershirt may be taken if 
desired. In winter another woollen undershirt should 
be added for emergencies. One extra pair of drawers 
is sufficient for all seasons. 

Wear nothing but wool. If the feet are tender 
wear a pair of light cashmere socks next the skin 
Socks and and a thick pair over them, or even two if 
Stockings extra large moccasins are worn. As socks 
take up very little room I take three thicknesses 
with me, and can thus clothe my feet to fit any 
shoe and any temperature. Long stockings are worn 
with knickers of course, and the home-knit ones that 
po-» V)e best got jn the country are better than the 

Clothing 17 

machine-made golf-stockings. With these a pair of 
light socks may be worn next the skin. In winter 
very heavy long stockings are worn by woodsmen, 
either over thick drawers, or pulled up over drawers 
and trousers both and tied round the knee to keep 
out the snow. This; with moccasins or larrigans, is a 
rig that cannot be improved upon for cold weather. 

The shirt should be of soft but strong flannel and 
should fit well. Grey is the most inconspicuous 
colour. Blue is conspicuous and apt to 
crock and get rusty. Have the wide 
collar nearly meet when turned down; it will fit 
better so and will protect you more -effectively when 
turned up. There is usually a small pocket in the 
breast for the watch; if not have one made. A light- 
weight shirt is best in summer; in winter it may be 
thicker or even thickest. Unless you have plenty 
of room take only one shirt. When it gets wet or 
you are drying it after washing, wear your sweater 
or go without. 

A soft but strong silk handkerchief is a good thing 
to wear round the neck, protecting from both sun 
and cold, as well as from chafing. In case of accident 
it makes a good bandage or sling. 

These should possess two virtues: protection against 
wind and weather, and plenty of pocket-room. For 
the latter reason a coat is preferable to a Outer 

sweater, especially for a sportsman, and, Garments 
from this standpoint alone, a khaki or duxbak 
shooting-coat is best, being practically all pocket. 
It sheds a shower but a hard rain wets it through, 

1 8 The Way of the Woods 

and it affords little protection against the cold. I 
like to wear duxbak trousers in summer, and have 
found that, though not impervious to rain, they dry 
off in a jiffy. For any kind of hunting, it, like all 
canvas, is too noisy. On the whole my preference is 
for an old woollen sack-coat of neutral colour and 
loose fit, with reinforced pockets. If the trip is 
entirely overland the duxbak is perhaps better, and 
an extra sweater (light-weight) may be taken along, 
worn under the pack on portages. Some campers 
wear sweaters entirely, but they are inveterate brush 
and bur catchers and soak up rain quickly. Never- 
theless a sweater is a great comfort and I never go 
into the woods, except in the hottest weather, without 
one. The best kind is one that has a high collar 
which may either be turned down or buttoned up 
round the neck by means of a snap-button. Light 
reddish-brown or grey are the best colours, as they 
can then be used for hunting and do not show every 
bit of dirt. 

There is great comfort and convenience in a waist- 
coat, and the very best one is a canvas shooting-vest 
with four big pockets. Have this lined with flannel 
and provided with an interior pocket. It will then 
represent the ideal of comfort, convenience, and 
toughness. For midsummer work the lining is not 
necessary. Especially when no coat is worn such 
a vest is invaluable. The inside pocket may be 
made of some waterproof material. 

If only one pair of trousers is taken the material 
should be wool with little nap. They should be slit 
from just below the knee down and a wedge-shaped 
piece cut out to make them fit the lower leg, the slit 
being closed with four or five thin but strong buttons. 

Clothing 19 

In this shape the trousers will fit without inconvenient 
folds into high boots, leggings, or stockings. The 
'* tough" camper will tell you they look dudish, but 
don't be bullied by a phrase. Care should be taken 
not to have them in any way tight at the knees. Any 
old pair of still whole trousers can be treated in this 
manner in an hour. To the wearer of knickerbockers 
the question of side buttons is of no consequence. 
Knickers with simple straps are better than those 
with buttoned cuffs. All trousers should be pro- 
vided with generous back pockets, one on each side. 
If your trousers are old have the seams of the pockets 
reinforced or the pockets renewed. Trousers should 
also be provided with loops for the belt, which should 
be of stout leather, as upon it are slung the hunting- 
knife, camp-hatchet, revolver, or what-not. The 
belt-buckle should not be of sparkling steel, to 
frighten all the game in the woods or trout in the 
stream, but of some dull material. 

The question of suspenders is a personal one. They 
are necessary when a belt filled with heavy car- 
tridges is worn. This ought to be avoided where 
possible. For field shooting a special shell-vest is 
usually chosen, while for rifle ammunition there is 
on the market a short leather strip provided with 
loops for a dgzen cartridges, which may be hooked 
securely on to any belt ; and no man is entitled to more 
big game than he can kill with such a supply. 

A suit of oilskins should be taken on a canoe trip 
of any length, especially in spring and early summer, 
my experience being that it is apt to rain about one 
third of the time, especially near the coast. The 
Gloucester fishermen's oilskins are stiff at first but 
become pliable with wear. To be preferred are the 

20 The Way of the Woods 

garments now made for yachtsmen, which, though 
not so tough, are much lighter and more comfortable. 
Oilskins are positively the only covering that will 
keep you quite dry in a severe rain of any duration, 
except perhaps the rubber fishing-shirt, which is a 
bulky and hot affair. With oilskins the outer coat 
is not absolutely necessary. Mackintosh is not to 
be recommended for the woods; it is too heavy and 
not impervious to a long, hard rain. A light rubber 
poncho is not a bad thing, but for canoeing it is in- 
ferior to the oilskin jacket, as the arms are confined. 
For land trips the poncho is better, as it may be either 
worn over the head, or used as a bed or tent and 
in many other ways. The lighter the better, but 
lightness is always gained at the expense of strength. 
Going without waterproofs will do for overland trips 
where one is almost constantly on the move, but to 
sit in a canoe or fish along a stream for a day or two 
completely drenched is altogether too miserable a 
business, as well as quite needless. 

In a hard rain the wristbands of the oilskin jacket 
should be tied up with twine or a couple of those 
convenient stout rubber bands, a supply of which 
should be in every kit. 

For winter I have found a Carss Mackinaw jacket 

Hat or cap? I vote for hat, a medium-weight 
felt with a fairly wide brim stiff enough, when turned 
„ - down in wind or rain, to **stay put" and 

not flop about. For this reason I choose 
one with the edge of the brim bound. The leather 
'sweatband may be torn out, as the felt will cling 
better to the hair in a gale, or one of flannel may be 

Clothing 21 

substituted. I keep the leather, however, as I don't 
like the press of the rougher material on my forehead. 
Light-brown is the best colour; grey is good. Caps 
allow the sun and rain to strike in from *the side, a 
serious fault in my eyes. As a spare headpiece one 
may be taken along, a light one. For camp use a silk 
or knit wool skull-cap is excellent, the former for 
warm weather, the latter for cold. They make good 
nightcaps. For those who wear glasses the broad, 
stiff brim of the hat is a necessity. Don't take sou'- 
westers, rain-hoods, and that ilk. Your hat sheds 
nearly all the rain. The coon-skin and other fur 
head-coverings are only for winter use in the far north. 

The Amerind, as the ethnologists call the American 
Indian, invented the moccasin, and the paleface 
has thus far failed to improve upon the p ^^^ -• 
pattern of this foot-covering for forest 
life. But the white man makes better moccasins 
than the average Amerind, and I would rather have 
a pair bought of a good dealer or in a country larrigan- 
factory than one made by my guide. The two great 
virtues of the moccasin are lightness and softness. 
When you get used to them they are like gloves, 
and the foot becomes in a manner prehensile, gripping 
the stones and sticks like a hand. Their lightness 
makes you feel skittishly lively after dragging about 
a pair of heavy hunting-boots. At first they will 
hurt your poor, tender, pampered feet, but stick 
to them; in a short time your feet will toughen. 
Wear an extra pair of socks with them or an insole 
of some material that will keep shape after wetting. 
You can cut a good pair out of birchbark in the 
woods. These may protect you from a stubbed 

22 The Way of the Woods 

toe before you have acquired the catlike, careM 
gait of the old trail-hitter. The best insoles are of 
straw or stiff felt. There are two varieties of mocca- 
sin, the moccasin proper and the larrigan, or ankle- 
moccasin. I prefer the latter, as they protect the 
ankle and do not allow the ingress of sticks and 
gravel so easily. Literal tenderfeet may have a 
pair of double-soled moccasins made to break in 
their feet, graduating to single soles later. Double 

Fig. I. — Moccasin, Shoepack, and Moose- shank 

soles are good at* any time in rough country. The 
extra sole should be inside and not show. Buy good 
stuff. Take the moccasin in your hand and examine 
and feel. Reject all ornamented work. Either 
oil-tanned or smoke-tanned are good. On long 
trips take two pairs, especially in rough country, 
as they do not wear well. Tallow them frequently 
or treat them with some good boot-grease. This 
will keep them soft. **Collan Oil" is also excellent. 
Do not attempt to dry any tanned shoes before the 
fire; disaster will follow. Let them dry naturally 
or stay wet, which they are really not, save on the 
outside. Moccasins on fishing trips are only for 

Clothing 23 

the camp; for wading something stouter must be 

For canoe trips a pair of camping-shoes with 
pliable heelless soles may be recommended, though 
after all they are no improvement upon moccasins, 
save in the protection of the foot. Any old but still 
good walking-shoe will do, though not so soft or 
tough. For general use in the woods, whether canoe- 
ing or cruising about, I am personally very fond of 
the soled moccasin called in the Maritime Provinces 
and other regions shoepack, made either low or 
ankle high. It is made with a rather stiffish sole, 
which either extends the whole length of the bottom 
with an extra thickness for the heel, or is absent under 
the instep, thus lightening the shoe but affording 
less protection against sharp stones and sticks. 
When sparingly provided with small, round-headed 
Hungarian nails, even a steep, wet, moss-covered 
rock has no terrors for the shoepack, and it is ex- 
cellent as a wader, especially when worn with stout 
leggings. In the canoe you must be a bit careful 
not to scratch the bottom. The nails should be put in 
near the edge. Hobnails are a delusion; never use 
them. Shoepacks are hard to find in town, but can 
be got of the country larrigan makers. 

Moose or caribou ** shanks, " made from the legs of 
these animals, with the hock for a heel, are tough and 
comfortable, but so warm, the hair being left on, that 
they are generally worn only in winter. They should 
be bark- and not alum-tanned. For still-hunting 
there is nothing better. 

For those who like a stout sole and solid ankle- 
brace, the hunting-boot, seven to twelve inches high, 
is a satisfactory article, though wofully heavy. It 

24 The Way of the Woods 

shotdd have a few round-headed nails on sole and heel, 
not over eighteen altogether. Better than the boot 
is the high moccasin. I have a double-soled, ten-inch 
pair made by Gokey that are waterproof and solid ($7). 
The same thing is made for prospectors and other 
rough-country travellers with a sole, and a substitute 
for the rubber boot is made by providing these with 
a leather top. This is the ideal wader, though 

Fig. 2. — Moccasin-Boot, Hunting-Boot, and Double-Soled Larrigan 

In the woods no waders have any place, because, 
though they are warm, even when wet inside, and 
protect the legs, they are too heavy and bulky. The 
idea that they, or any other shoes, keep out water 
is a delusion, for perspiration and condensation do 
the work, and all too often a slip on the rocks causes 
the water to pour in and one is ** stewed in one's 
own sauce." 

Don't be afraid of wet feet; it is the normal 

Clothing 25 

condition of the woodsman in spring and summer. 
It keeps the feet soft and, if woollen stockings are 
worn, does no harm. 

Take along some tallow or a box of '^Touradif 
Boot-Grease." Before starting your footwear may 
be thoroughly treated with ** Never Wet*' or CoUan 
Oil. The greasing should be done inside as well as 
outside. I pour CoUan or neat*s-foot oil into all my 
shoes and let it soak into the seams, warming the 
shoes a little first. 

For camp slippers the extra pair of moccasins may 
be used. Some take a pair of ''sneakers," but they 
are flimsy. A pair of felt slippers is best if there is 
room for them, but the moccasins should suffice. 

In rough country leggings are a great comfort, 
especially when knickers are worn, as briars and 
sharp sticks soon tear to pieces the stoutest 
stockings. In wading with low shoes ®8gi»8« 
they protect the legs and prevent the trousers from 
sagging down when heavy with water. For spring 
and summer brown canvas is a good material, but 
do not buy those bound with cheap leather, which is 
sure to come off after an hour's wading. Have them 
stoutly bound with cloth or canvas. The army 
pattern is about the best for this season. Leather 
is well enough on the plains but is too heavy and 
noisy for the woods. The like may be said, so far 
as hunting is concerned, of canvas, and for this reason, 
and because the underbrush is less troublesome than 
in stmimer, long stockings are preferable. The ideal 
legging I have not yet found. It should be of some 
tough but smooth woollen cloth, like loden, and 
lace on. 

2 6 The Way of the Woods 

The puttee legging, composed of strips of cloth 
wound spirally up the leg, is too apt to be displaced 
and torn in the north woods. 

Before leaving the subject of clothing it may be, 
well to suggest that some ability with the needle is 
Home- often of advantage in the forest, particu- 
made larly on long trips far from civilisation. 

Clothing The ideal woodsman should be able to 
fashion at least every piece of his outer clothing, in- 
cluding cap and moccasins, should occasion require it; 
and, at very least, to make all necessary repairs with 
thoroughness if not elegance. Woodland shoe-mak- 
ing may come in very handy should the kit be lost 
or the moccasins wear through. One must have 
the leather (see Woodcraft), and a small awl and 
some waxed ends ought always to be in the kit. 
(For those who care to essay a pair of home-made 
moccasins an article in Forest and Stream of De- 
cember IS, 1906, may be recommended.) Better 
take an extra pair with you from town, as 'even 
Indian work is inferior. 

Clothing for Canoe Trip in Warm Weather 

Worn on Person: Woollen underclothes; grey flannel shirt; 
trousers; belt; waistcoat; handkerchief; socks or stockings; 
moccasins or shoepacks; hat. 

{Optional: neckerchief; coat; sweater.) 

Take Extra: Coat (if not worn); sweater (if not worn); 
suit underwear (of different weight); 3 or 4 pairs socks; 
5 handkerchiefs; cap or skullcap; pair trousers; pair shoes 
or extra moccasins; oilskins or poncho. 

{Optional: camp slippers; dogskin gloves — ^if not worn.) 

Clothing 27 

For Overland Trip (Carrying Everything on the Back) 

Omit from above: 2 pairs socks; coat or sweater; slippers; 
extra trousers; cap; oilskins. 

For Winter Trips; Overland or not 

Add: suit underclothing; extra stockings. {Optional: 
Mackinaw coat instead of sack-coat; German socks; moose- 
shanks; mittens or gloves of knit wool; oilskins.) 



The personal outfit includes everything used by 
the individual alone and not in common with all the 
rest. It may be divided into: 

1. Articles Carried on the Person. 

2. Knapsacks and Bags and their Contents. 

3. Sporting Articles. 


Spring or Summer Trip 

Continual: Watch; compass; jackknife; waterproof match- 
box; dope-can; salt-box; emergency lunch; plaster. 

Optioned, recommended: Hunting-knife; ammonia; head-net; 
note-book and pencil; magnifying-glass; hooks and line. 

Occasional: Opera-glasses; liquor-flask; pistol or revolver; 
smoked glasses; camera (see Photography)', camp-hatchet; 
money; pipe and tobacco; map. 

Although it is quite possible to get on in the woods 
without a timepiece of any kind except old Sol, most 
of us do not spend enough time in the 
forest to escape the feeling of being more 
or less lost without one. Nevertheless I strongly 
recommend trying the experiment, if for the one 
reason that a watch represents, perhaps more than 
any other single article, our dependence upon arti- 
ficial helps. Here is a golden opportunity to cast 
aside what is, if you come to thmk of it, a totally 


Personal Outfit 29 

unnecessary piece of baggage; for what difference 
does it make to you in the woods if you are a half- 
hour out of the way according to old tyrant Green- 
wich? You have no train to catch. Leave your 
ticker at home and note how quickly you will take 
to scanning the heavens with a new interest. Sun- 
down and high noon will acquire a new significance 
and you are nearer to nature at once. Before you 
start out make a note in your diary of the hours of 
sunset and sunrise in your section at that time of 
the year, and that will suffice. 

If you do take a watch let it be a cheap but reliable 
one, and let the " chain ** be of leather and so attached 
to watch and pocket that it will not catch on brush 
or tackle. The dollar watches are too flimsy for the 
woods. It is a good idea to carry the watch in the 
breast-pocket of the shirt, where it will not get 
wet if you slimip into the water up to your 

The Watch as a Compass: Point the hour-hand to 
the sun and south will be half-way between the hour- 
hand and the figure XII. 

A so-cent compass, cased in brass with slip cover, 
is good enough for ordinary trips, but for a long tour 
into unexplored country a somewhat 
better quality is recommended. A large <^™P*ss 
size is not necessary. Dealers keep a good and 
varied line of compasses. The compass should be 
attached in some way to the pocket, or at least should 
have a rubber band wound round the handle, so 
that it will not fall out when you stoop or fall. One 
without a cover, though easier to consult, is too apt 
to be broken. Choose an arrow-shaped needle; one 

30 The Way of the Woods 

with like ends, one being blued, is harder to read in 
bad light. 

This shotdd be of medium size and good steel. 
One with two blades and a file is my favourite, though 
T kknife ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^* strictly necessary, since you 
have one in your tackle repair-kit (see 
below). The handle should fit the hand perfectly, 
an important point. Carry it where it will not easily 
fall out of its receptacle. If a hunting-knife is 
carried, the jackknife need not be so large. It 
should open easily, even when the fingers are ntimbed 
with cold. Avoid kit-knives, at all events as pocket- 

This is carried in a sheath, into which it sinks at 
least half-way up the handle, fitting snugly, the 
Hunting- sheath hanging from- the belt. The woods- 
knife man carries it directly behind. A good 
sheath-knife is a joy. It is not so easy to 
find, for most of those offered are too hard or too 
pointed or too something else. The blade shotdd 

Fig. 3. — Hunting-knife 

be not over 4^ inches long and rather thin than 
thick, with a handle that fits the hand. The knife 
here illustrated I have used for years and found it 
excellent for general use about camp, as well as for 
skinning and cutting up game. Its handle is ebony 
and it costs $2. It may be found in the sporting 
goods catalogues. Other good knives are made by 

Personal Outfit 



the Marble Safety Axe Company. Look out that 
you get a sufficiently long handle but one not 
heavy enough to drop from its sheath when you 
stoop over. The remedy for this is a close-fitting 
sheath. (For camp-hatchet see Camp Furni- 

You will carry a few loose matches in your vest- 
pocket, but should never leave camp without a 
waterproof match-box on your person. 
You may need it any day, and when you 
do you will need it badly. It is worth while carrying 
one even to build a fire and thaw out after a spill 
in the river. 

If the safety match-box made by the Marble 
people were not of metal, and hence apt to be dented 
and therefore to jam, it would be ideal. 
If used it should be kept where a fall is 
not likely to injure it. A better one, 
for the reason that it is practically inde- 
structible and still quite water-tight, is 
the hard-rubber box sold by several deal- 
ers, which has a simple screw-top ($ .50). 
It has also the great virtue of floating, 
while a metal box is lost if dropped into 
lake or stream. 

If you are off on a side trip from camp 
carry the stub of a candle; it will make 
fire-making in the rain easier. 

A few boxes of wind-fusees should be taken, espe- 
cially on canoe trips. (See Provisions.) 

Fig. 4.— 



A small box (wood is best) filled with salt should 
be hidden away somewhere on the person whenever 

32 . The Way of the Woods 

you leave camp on the chance of not returning in 
time for the next meal. It is a good idea to have 

it always along, for you might get lost. 

It takes up next to no room and trout with 
salt are far better than without. 

When you have been lost or strayed from camp 
for a day or two you will appreciate the necessity 
Emergency of this. It should be in your pocket 
Lunch whenever you are not cock-sure of re- 

maining within hailing distance of the commissary 
department, and who can always be sure of that? 

The emergency lunch may be made up of almost 
anything the cook can spare, when it is meant to be 
eaten at a certain time. What I mean, however^ 
is a small amount of nutritious food always carried 
on the person in case of getting lost or straying 
farther from camp than was intended. The one I 
generally carry consists of a piece of Baker's "Dot" 
chocolate about three cubic inches in bulk, two 
or three inches of German sausage, and a couple of 
bouillon capsules, all wrapped in a piece of surgeon's 
oiled silk or wax-paper inside a small tin box. Of 
course whenever the danger of straying seems greater 
an addition to this should be made. For ordinary 
trips it is enough to have a snack on the person that 
shall help out the fish or game in case of having to 
make a night of it away from camp, or even keep 
up the strength if without tackle or firearms. Tea 
may be taken in place of the bouillon capsules. In 
case of a possible deviation from camp a tin cup 
should be taken, strung at the back of the belt out 
of the way but very much in place in case of an 
enforced camping. 

Personal Outfit 33 

A small roll (perhaps a foot) of surgeon's adhesive 
plaster should always be carried on the person. It 
may be wrapped in wax-paper or tin-foil. 
Some dealers put up a small quantity 
in a tiny ikU aluminum box, which rests in the pocket 
unnoticed until needed. It is for cuts and bruises. 
(See Medicine and Surgery,) 

I use the word ** can " advisedly, as I have found that 
the most convenient method of carrying a small quan- 
tity of ** fly-dope," sufficient for the day's 
anointing, is in one of the little flat ^P*-**^ 
ten-cent oil-cans with screw-tops, that exude the 
liquid when pressed. They fit well into the pocket, 
cannot be broken, and the contents do not run out. 
The little cap which covers the ** business end" is 
generally provided with a needle, which is not neces- 
sary for our purpose and which may be plucked out 
with tweezers. A small flat bottle may also be used 
to contain dope, but glass is always inferior to tin 
in the forest. 

The discussion of dope-cans brings us to the im- 
portant subject of the dope itself, and the great 
problem of fighting off the winged pests, which, un- 
like the furtive folk of the forest, welcome your 
coming in spring and simimer with enthusiasm, and 
flock to meet you with a cordiality that threatens 
to drive you back to civilisation. These dratted 
little persecutors are of many kinds, but the three 
most virulent in the north woods are the black fly 
{similium molestum), our old friend the mosquito, 
and the midge, or no-see-um, often yclept the punky. 
Some happy people there are who, though annoyed, 
are not poisoned by their bites, but the majority 

34 The Way of the Woods 

of us may as well hit the back trail unless we can 
find protection from their persecutions. 

The black fly is a fiend incarnate though a very 
pigmy in size, being only about i of an inch long and 
often shorter. 

Should an unprepared unfortunate [says Mr. Wells in his 
American Salmon Fisherman] chance upon them when 
in force, though he have the hide of a rhinoceros, and the 
enthusiasm of Father Walton himself raised to the twenty- 
fourth power, neither will avail him anything. . . . Let no 
man in the vicious pride of his youth and strength fancy that 
he can defy their attack, for they will rout him at last, horse, 
foot, and artillery, just as surely as they meet him. A thin 
skirmish-line he may be able to encounter, though with 
discomfort, but a serious attack in force is beyond human 

The no-see-um, whose diminutive size is denoted 
by his nickname, conferred upon him by the Indians, 
is less formidable than his cousin but considerably 
more shifty and pertinacious. The black fly possesses 
one great virtue — he knows enough to quit and go 
to bed the moment the sun goes down, while the 
midge sticks to his nefarious business well into the 
shades of eventide; and this depravity he shares 
with our old enemy the mosquito, who knoweth 
no night and no day, and whose operations are, in- 
deed, the original ** continuous performance. " Taken 
all in all the whole **kit and boodle*' of them are a 
most unmitigated nuisance, and the only thing we can 
say in consolation is best expressed by paraphrasing 
Mr. Wells, to the effect that, were it not for these 
drawbacks, life in the woods would be altogether too 
good fun for mere mortals. 

And now for the remedy. There are two ways 
of keeping the poisonous probosces of these insects 

Personal Outfit 35 

out of one's skin; first, the anointing of it with one 
of the many preparations variously called fly-dope 
or bug-juice, and, secondly, the wearing of head-nets. 
Every dealer in camping and fishing paraphernalia, 
as well as nearly every individual fisherman, has 
produced one or more kinds of dope, all warranted 
to keep winged pests at bay. Believe them not, or 
at least believe them only in part, for there are times, 
and I have experienced them often, when, far from 
fleeing the most malignant juice, the furious hordes 
will rush in and seem fairly to revel in it, be it brewed 
from Nessmuk's or any other man's receipt. I have 
picked them off my face by the score, actually 
drowned in the oily mixture ; for there is one curious 
thing about the black fly: once alighted he will not 
budge and you may take your time in removing him 
— if you care to be deliberate. He will not dodge 
like the mosquito, but immolates himself like a 
Japanese soldier at Port Arthur. Nevertheless dope 
is a blessing, for, though it is not often a complete 
preventive, still sometimes it is and at all times 
at least a deterrent. I add Nessmuk's and Wells's 
dopes and my own. 

Nessmuk's Dope^ from Woodcraft) 

Pine tar, 3 oz. 

Castor-oil, 2 oz. 

Oil of penn3n-oyal, i oz. 
Simmer all together- over a slow fire and bottle. Enough 
for four persons for a fortnight. 

H. P. Wells's Bug' Juice, from American Salmon Fisherman: 

Olive-oil, i pint. 

Creosote, i oz. 

Pennjrroyal, i oz. 

Camphor, i oz. 
Dissolve camphor in alcohol and mix. For four persons. 

36 The Way of the Woods 

Breck's Dope: 

Pine tar, 3 oz. 

Olive (or castor) oil, 2 oz. 

Oil pennyroyal, i oz. 

Citronella, i oz. 

Creosote, i oz. 

Camphor (pulverised), i oz. 

Large tube carbolated vaseline. 
Heat the tar and oil and add the other ingredients; simmer 
over slow fire until well mixed. The tar may be omitted if 
disliked, or for ladies' use. 

It will be seen that the Breck dope is more or less 
a combination of the other two, though this came 
about through no intention of mine. I planned to 
brew a concoction that should be a healing counter- 
irritant after being bitten, as well as an insect-dis- 
courager. The camphor and citronella are anathema 
to mosquitoes; the carbolated vaseline is healing 
and antiseptic, and gives body to the dope. The 
mixture, as above given, will rather more than fill 
a pint flask, which is best made of tin with a screw- 
on top, such as is used for oil. A sediment collects 
at the bottom, for which reason the flask should be 
well shaken before being tapped to fill the small 
dope-cans. It is well to collect the ingredients for 
your dope before leaving civilisation, as some of 
them, notably pure tar, cannot be found in many 
country apothecary shops. Do not get dope in the 
eyes. A good dope in the convenient paste form is 
Jenner's **Fly-Pizen.*' 

When the enemy's attack develops in force open 
up the ammunition-can and rub in well — neck, ears 
and behind them, forehead (look out for the eyes), 
nose, cheeks, wrists, backs of the hands, and up the 
arms. Renew the application whenever necessary 

Personal Outfit 37 

and don't wash off until dark; in fact old Nessmuk 
and many otherwise cleanly woodsmen counsel a 
certain reticence in the use of soap and water while 
in the pest regions, being loth to lose the glaze formed 
by many coats of dope! There is no rule but ex- 
perience and necessity. Not a bad idea is to have 
with one a second small flask filled with a mixture 
of citronella, camphor, and pennyroyal, for keeping 
off mosquitoes at night. I always take along a small 
cake of camphor and crumble it over everything in 
knapsack and war-bag. It is cleanly and keeps off 
crawling as well as flying pests. 

The second main defence against flies is the head- 
net, which is used again and again in sheer despera- 
tion by campers and fishermen who have „ . 
repeatedly cast it aside in disgust at its 
stuffiness and opaqueness. Most anglers would 
rather be bitten than wear one, preferring to retire 
to the camp-fire smudge for the rest of the day. One 
reason for this is, that there is not a head-net sold 
by the dealers through which the world does not 
appear as a very hazy dream. Added to this is the 
disadvantage of not being able to communicate 
freely with the mouth. Nevertheless there are 
moments in the fishing season when it is net or 
nothing, and I therefore give here the recipe for the 
only good head-net I have ever seen, in the hope that 
it will prove as great a comfort to my readers as it 
has to many of my friends and myself. 

Buy sufficient fine black silk Brussels net (rather 
expensive stuff) to make, either out of two or 
three pieces, a bag rounded slightly at the closed 
end, from 16 to 20 inches long and wide enough to 

38 The Way of the Woods 

go over the turned-down rim of your hat. Either 
select the hat first or make the net large enough for 
any, but the better the fit the more satisfactory will 
be the net. If it is drawn down from the brim fairly 
taut across the face it obscures the vision to such a 
small degree that one may easily forget its existence, 
a thing that has happened to me repeatedly. The 
open end has a running black braid which is drawn 
tight under the upturned shirt-collar. A flap falling 
from the tape down to the shoulders may be added, 
but I have never found this necessary.. The net 
should fit so that it does not touch the face at any 
point. Many complain that smoking is impossible 
with a head-net but I smoke my pipe merrily enpugh 
under mine. Expectoration is of course impractic- 
able without loosening the tape, but personally I 
am not interested in expectorators. 

After all is said and done we all prefer infinitely 
to do without head-nets, but, since there are oc- 
casions when they alone are able to supply a con- 
siderable degree of comfort, I recommend this one 
as the only contrivance of the kind which is certainly 
not stuffy and which can be easily seen through. In 
spite of its extreme lightness it is astonishingly 
tough, being of silk. I always take several with me 
into the woods on fishing expeditions, as they fold 
together into less space than a single handkerchief, 
and have often been amused to have a hardened old 
guide hint at the loan of one and wear it with evident 

Since silk veiling is expensive the net, with the 
exception of the side opposite the face, may be made 
of cotton veiling, or of green or brown chiffon. Black 
is the only colour that does not obscure the vision, 

Personal Outfit 39 

while it protects the eyes, like smoked glasses. 
The top may be strengthened by a disk of linen. 

Buckskin gloves are often recommended for those 
who come into the woods fresh from the counting- 
house, but it is better to take the blisters 
and the freckles as they come and harden 
up as soon as possible. Nevertheless a pair of 
buckskins, or, better, thick dogskins, often come in 
handy, both for cold and flies. In cold weather 
woollen mittens are best, and, for the far north, 
woollen gloves worn under fur mittens which are 
suspended by a cord round the neck, so that, when 
slipped off, they will not be lost. For fishing a pair of 
short-fingered dogskin gloves, treated with oil, are good 
to keep the flies away from the unprotected hands. 
Linen gauntlets with elastics at the top are efficacious. 

A tiny vial of strong ammonia is a good thing, as 
a drop on a fresh bite frequently counteracts its 
virulence and destroys the consequences. 
The chemists sell a small hard-rubber vial 
with screw-off top and application sponge, which is 
very practical for the purpose. 

A pair of these may be recommended for use in 
winter, especially for those having weak eyes; in^^^*''^**^ 
warm weather there is less use for them, Smoked ^^^Y , 
but the glint of the sun on the water is Glasses ^^"^ 
often very trying. It is a personal matter. 

These are emergency tools and should be stowed 
away in a back pocket whenever starting Hooks and 
on a side trip from the main camp, unless Line 

the object be fishing, in which case you will have 

40 The Way of the Woods 

your tackle with you. Many a man has been ccm- 
forted, yes, saved by fish caught with this spare line 
and three or four hooks. 

If you plan to return to your starting point and to 
traverse only the wilderness, or merely touch a 
Money frontier settlement or two, take a small 
sum in bills wrapped in surgeon's oiled 
silk or thin rubber and tucked away in the inside 
pocket of your vest. This will be sufficient to make any 
chance purchases or for the hire of a man occasion- 
ally. If you are on a long trip with the likelihood 
of coming out at a different point far distant from 
your jumping-off place, your money may be carried 
in a chamois-skin money-belt, but it should be well 
wrapped up in thin rubber, so that, in case of immer- 
sion, it will remain dry. The inmost vest-pocket is a 
better place unless the wad is too bulky. 

Opera-glasses are generally used only in mountain- 
ous country; I have never found their need in the 
north woods. Pipes and tobacco, note-book and pencil^ 
liquor-flasks and magnifying-glasses are all more or less 
personal matters. The last are for those interested in 
botany, mineralogy, and natural history. For maps 
consult The Knapsack, etc. 

For a discussion of guns and rifles used in hunting, 
the separate headings may be consulted. The ordin- 
ary camper will derive much amusement 

Firearms ^ n r i 1.1 

from some firearm of no larger calibre 

than .22. Revolvers may be dismissed at once 
The choice lies between a rifle, a pocket-rifle and 
a pistol, and the selection may depend upon the 
character of the trip. For a canoe expedition, 

Personal Outfit 41 

I recommend the Stevens or the Winchester .22 
repeater, chambered either for the long, the long-rifley 
or the Winchester cartridge. The Stevens single-shot 
.22-calibre rifles are splendid little guns and take the 
best cartridge of that calibre, the ,22-long'rifle. The 
Winchester rifles do not take this cartridge. The Win- 
chester automatic .22-calibre rifle, using a cartridge of 
its own, is a very fine firearm, though expensive 
($16.00). If a single-shooter is chosen do not get a 
target rifle, as they are too heavy. The Stevens 
** Favourite No. 19,*' using the .22-long-rifle smokeless 
cartridge, would be my choice after a repeater. 

If the tourist does not wish to be burdened with a 
rifle he may choose a pocket-rifle or a pistol, both 
being single-shooters. They are, of course, much 
harder to use accurately than rifles, but with practice 
can be made to do very wonderful shooting. The 
pocket-rifle is merely a long-barrelled pistol with an 
adjustable skeleton stock. The Stevens pocket- 
rifles (Nos. 40 and 40^) with 12-inch or is-inch 
barrel and chambered for the .22-long-rifle car- 
tridges are very fine little weapons; they cost 
about $12. 

On walking tours the stock is in the way and a 
simple pistol should be taken, such as the Stevens 
"Lord" model or the Smith & Wesson 6- or 8-inch 
pistols. Single-shot arms always tend to better 
shooting, but a repeater is a great convenience. A 
small can of some good oil, such as **3 in One," 
a soft rag or two, a piece of wash-leather, and 
a cleaning-rod should be taken, and the arm kept 
scruptdously clean. Never leave it dirty over night. 
Always use smokeless ammunition and buy it in the 
United States, for Canadian ammunition is inferior. 

42 The Way of the Woods 

Open sights are best for the woods. (See Sporting 


The Knapsack 

Knapsack versus ditty-bag is an old controversy. 
The knapsack is a trifle heavier, but it has shape and 
its contents can be packed so that they remain in 
place, while the things thrown into a bag are apt to 
indulge in a scramble for the bottom, a chaotic 
jumble being the result. On this account the knap- 
sack has the call. There are several good ones on the 
market, that used by the U. S. Army being as good 
as any. Another, of canvas waterproofed, is sold by 
the dealers; get th6 smaller size. For years I have 
used one of the cast-off pattern of the Massachusetts 
militia; it is very light but is covered with glazed 
cloth and hence not so strong as one of canvas. Three 
pounds should be the outside weight and the sack 
should be provided with a light canvas and strap 
harness fitting easily over the shoulders. The knap- 
sack is used to carry all the small personal belongings 
that get lost in a bigger bag, and, on account of its 
shape and rigidity, another bundle may be easily 
laid across it in portaging. 

It is somewhat difficult to suggest a definite list 
of articles to be carried in the knapsack, as they 
must naturally vary with the character and length 
of the projected tour and the wants of its owner. 
There are, however, certain things that may be 
recommended for any trip, especially one far from 
civilisation. Among these are: 

Personal Outfit 43 

Mirror Medicines 

Comb H)rpodermic syringe 

Brush Scalpel 

Tooth-brush Playing-cards 

Extra films Diary 

Whetstone Postal cards 

Maps Stationery 

Repair-kit Mending-kit 

Reading matter Wind fuzees 

Sandpaper - ^ "^ 

Also: Fishing-tackle (in case fishiiig will be only incidental 
and not one of the chief objects); instruments for blowing 
eggs and for other special uses, such as : barrel-reflector, cart- 
ridge-extracter, duck-call, whistle, etc. 

The mirror should be very small and have a folding 
wire stand at its back, by which it may be hung up on 
a nail or twig. The comb should be strong Toilet 

but short; the brush, if one be taken at Articles 
all, small. The tooth-brush should be in the 
sponge-bag, or in a bag of its own, the proper 
place for which is in the war-bag or sleeping-bag 
(see below), and the same may be said for the 
tooth-paste, which is best in a tube. The razor may 
be a safety, but here likes differ. I pity a man who 
has to shave in the woods. For some however it is 
the greatest luxury. The soap may be contained in 
a celluloid box or a rubber tobacco-pouch'. 

The best whetstone for the woods is the carborun- 
dtun, coarse on one side for axes and hatchets and fine 
on the other for knives. It will do the 
work perfectly, and is the best approach 
to a grind-stone I ever saw. If a coarse stone is 
taken in the camp-kit, that kept in the knapsack for 
knives may be very small. 


44 The Way of the Woods 

These are discussed elsewhere in this manual (see 
Medicine and Surgery), I always carry with me 
a small medicine-case containing laxative, 
quinine and antipyrin tablets, a first-aid- 
to- the- wounded packet, a scalpel, bought of a reputa- 
ble dealer in surgical instruments, a hypodermic 
syringe with two tubes of soluble tablets (see Medicine, 
etc.), a tube of carbolated vaseline, and sometimes a 
small bottle (covered with olive-wood or wicker) 
of witchhazel. Also a roll (flat, not round) of adhe- 
sive plaster, a couple of surgeon's needles, straight 
and curved, a little surgeon's silk, a couple of mustard 
plasters, etc. 

All these take up but very little room in the 

For the United States the best maps are those of the 
U. S. Geological Survey, made on a scale of two inches 

to the mile and costing five cents each. 

The Canadian maps are far less satisfactory. 
Of Nova Scotia there exists none of any value what- 
ever. Several sporting goods dealers have fairly good 
lines of maps of the northern wilderness, as well as 
waterproof envelopes for preserving maps. The 
best way to use them is to cut them up into conven- 
ient sizes, after having pasted them on linen, in case 
the map is not already sold in this form. Be sure 
to keep a key to the pieces, or you may be confronted 
with a picture-puzzle that will annoy more than it 
will illuminate. A good way is to ntmiber the pieces 
from left to right. Few maps of remote forest regions 
are exact and one should rely more upon one's guide, 
if there is one in the party, than upon them. The 
most troublesome features are the small unmapped 

Personal Outfit 45 

lakes which are apt to be taken for larger bodies of 
water on the maps and lead to great confusion. 

A thin, leather-covered note-book about 7x4 inches 
in size, with checked paper, is convenient. For very 
long trips note-books should have extra 
leather envelopes. A few postal cards, a * lonery 
couple of stamped envelopes, and a few sheets of 
paper are good to have. The envelopes are best made 
of linen, in case a letter is sent out of the woods in 
a guide's pocket. I take a Waterman pen and a 
couple of pencils, one a marking pencil which writes 
indelibly when moistened. A miniature diary con- 
taining the record of sunrises and sunsets and the 
tides will be important, especially if no watch is 
carried. If one carries the note-book on the person 
it should be provided with a case of leather or water- 
proof canvas. The envelopes, paper, and cards should 
be placed in a waterproof case and kept in the flap 
of the knapsack. 

There is little time to read in the woods, the book 
of nature being so voluminous and so fresh and 
new and fascinating. Nevertheless a small Reading 
volume of one's favourite poet or story- Matter 
teller should, for piety's sake, find an abiding place 
in the knapsack. For myself I take two kinds of 
literature, the first being represented by a small 
volume on some subject connected with the forest, 
such as Nessmuk's Woodcraft, Wells's Fly Rods and 
Fly Tackle, Van Dyke's Still Hunter, several scientific 
manuals of the Smithsonian and the British Museum, 
Chapman's Handbook of Birds, Gibson's Camp Life, 
books on trapping and photography, some sporting 

46 The Way of the Woods 

catalogue, and many other such. Besides one of 
these I generally take either a tiny volume of Bums 
or Heine or Drummond (the poet not the preacher!), 
or else a French novel, such as some yet unread ro- 
mance of the elder Dumas, the charm of such a book 
being that one is translated to a totally different 
world, only to be reawakened in the one so many of us 
love best, the forest more or less primeval. It is a de- 
light to be called from the court of Henry III. or from 
the clash of blades at Blois by a chipmunk running 
over your legs or the "Oohoo!*' of an owl above your 
head. Another way to collect camp-literature is to 
lay aside any interesting newspaper articles or 
stories that look promising. A wad of them fits into 
the flap and takes up but little room; they may be 
abandoned when read or in the way. 

A pack of cards (kept iu a stout case) is the source 
of lots of fun, especially if the party consists of the 
Playing ideal number, four. Guides usually like 
Cards a game at Pedro and two rival pairs can 

fight out many an amusing rubber of an evening. 
If there are any chess experts in camp a pocket 
board may be included. 

Wind A few boxes will be found convenient 

Fuzees fQj. storms or to light the pipe in the canoe 
in a wind. The wax fuzees are the best. 

Of repair -kits I confess to no less than four, 

though for overland journeys I combine them into 

-» . , .. one. The first, which however is carried in 
Repair -kits . 

the camp-kit or war-bag, is the ordinary 
handle tool-kit, the various tools (gimlet, reamer. 

Personal Outfit 47 

chisels, awl, screw-driver, etc.) fitting into the small 
end when used. The second, which is but an experi- 
ment and really makes the first unnecessary, is the Na- 
panoch kit, consisting of a jackknife into which fit, 
strongly and well, a saw, reamer, chisel, file, etc. I 
found it a good thing. The third is a japanned box 
about six inches long, the contents of which are my es- 
pecial joy. Originally the box contained a fisherman's 
repair-kit, with wax, silk, tiny scissors, cement, file, ex- 
tra rings, tips, and guides. These things are still in it 
but in the course of time many other small articles 
have been added, such as eyelets, grommets, tacks, 
fine wire, tweezers, sealing-wax, and what-not. The 
whole collection forms for me that ** ridiculous item 
of outfit" which Stewart Edward White rightly 
asserts that no woodsman is without. My fourth 
kit is a simple little thread and needle case, containing 
several kinds of silk and thread (a few feet only), and 
a small assortment of needles and buttons, as well as 
a shoemaker's needle, some waxed ends, and a few 
glove-fingers for cots. Of safety-pins a supply should 
be taken, and I carry half a dozen stout ones pinned 
to the inside of my vest. In my knapsack are a few 
giant safety-pins for tent or blanket. 

A few sheets of different coarseness may be taken in 
the knapsack flap, together with a sheet 
of emery cloth. They will come in very 

Most of the other articles mentioned in the list as 
possible candidates for the knapsack depend upon the 
season and the object of the outing, and are described 
under the headings of the sections to which they 
more properly belong. 


The Way of the Woods 

The War-hag (Duffle-bag) 
On hard trips, when everything must be carried on 
the backs of the party, extra duffle may be packed 
between the blankets or in the sleeping-bag, but on 
ordinary tours it is generally stored in an extra 
receptacle called the war-bag (duffle-bag, wangan-bag, 
dunnage-bag). This may be of any character, but 
is best made of heavy waterproof canvas. Those who 
are not ingenious enough to manufacture such a repos- 
itory are strongly recommended to purchase one of 
a dealer, as there are several on the market that are 
much better and more durable than any that can be 
turned out by an amateur or ordered of a sailmaker. 
These are made of brown waterproof canvas with 
protection-cloth and running cord 
at the mouth, and are of various 
sizes. One 36 inches high, 18 
inches wide, and weighing about 2 1 
pounds costs from $1.50 to $3.00 
according to the quality of the 
material. Even the cheapest is 
good. A locking device, consisting 
of a brass spindle passing through 
grommets and secured with a 
padlock, can be had for $1.00 
extra. There is a handle of can- 
vas at bottom and on one side. 
Bags of rubber cloth are cheaper 
but far less durable. 

The contents of the war-bag 

consists of extra clothing and 

everything else that cannot be packed elsewhere 

or must be kept dry. Mine has contained at 

different times oilskins, extra clothes, films, arsenic. 

Fig. 5.— War-bag 

Personal Outfit 49 

boot-grease, bird's-egg boxes and other things needed 
in collecting, folding lantern case, sponge-bag, etc. 

One good-sized war-bag is generally large enough 
to contain the extra dunnage of two persons, or even 
three at a pinch. 


This is a question of blankets or sleeping-bags, as 
cot-beds are too heavy and bulky for any but per- 
manent camps, where the "Gold Medal'* folding 
variety may be used to great advantage. 

Most old campers (ustjally, I think, from habit and 
ignorance of modern improvements) prefer a pair of 
blankets to a sleeping-bag. The blankets 
should be of good size and closely woven. 
Among the best are the U. S. Army, the Hudson 
Bay Company's, the California, and the Mackinaw. 
In summer one will do if you want to go very light 
and can put on an extra suit of underclothes at night, 
but a pair of light weight will be safer. With them 
should be taken a waterproof cloth of some kind to 
wrap round them. A light poncho will do the trick, 
and it can be spread on the ground at night to keep 
out moisture. One advantage of blankets is that, 
in high latitudes two friends can ** double up" and 
keep each other warm. A few giant safety-pins will 
turn the blankets into a sleeping-bag on occasion. 
But why not take the sleeping-bag anyhow? 

Let us examine the chief objections. A sleeping- 
bag is heavier than a thick blanket and even than 
two. Granted, though the difference is Sleeping- 
very slight. It is more expensive. Granted bags 
again, and this is a real disadvantage. Mr. 

50 The Way of the Woods 

Kephart quotes an Antarctic explorer to the 
effect that sleeping-bags become heavy with mois- 
ture and remain so. Now this may be so in the polar 
regions but certainly not in the north woods. Mr. 
Kephart also says: **It is not so snug when you roll 
over and find that some aperture at the top is letting 
a stream of cold air run down your spine, and that 
your weight and cooped-up-ness prevent you from 
readjusting the bag to your comfort. Likewise a 
sleeping-bag may be an unpleasant trap when a 
squall springs up suddenly at night, or the tent 
catches fire." Now I have always looked up to Mr. 
Kephart as a woodsman sans reproche, but I am 
forced to believe that he has never made fair trial 
of a good sleeping-bag; for, if there is one thing a bag 
does not do, it is letting in streams of cold air down 
your spine, and, to me at least, it almost goes without 
saying that a man is wrapped up much more tightly 
in blankets than in a bag, and hence far more help- 
less to rearrange his bed without pulling things to 
pieces. It is just precisely the ability to turn over in 
comfort that makes me love a sleeping-bag, and this 
springs from its general **stay-putedness.*' As to the 
stuffiness of a bag I confess I have yet to discover it. A 
proper bag opens down the side and ventilates easily. 
It is a little more difficult to air out in the morning but 
not much. The comparison with a rubber boot is most 
unjust, and though harder to get into, it takes no longer 
to do so than to wrap oneself up properly in blankets. 
As to getting caught inside if a fire breaks out, I 
will engage to get outside of mine in less than three 
seconds if necessary. The sleeping-bag has come to 
stay; my Indians have made themselves a couple 
out of blankets and waterproof canvas. Mr. Kephart 

Personal Outfit 51 

asserts that the waterproof cover is no substitute 
for a roof overhead on a rainy night; and yet I can 
assure him that I have slept out in mine without 
a tent many times in hard rain without getting wet 
in the slightest degree, except when rising. Imagine, 
if you please, the state I should have been in with 
blankets only. A lean-to of some kind would have 
been imperative and even then misery would have 
been the result. Of course spending the night without 
some kind of a shelter is not to be recommended, but 
my experience shows what the bag is capable of. 

There are two good varieties of sleeping-bags, the 
regular and the pneumatic. The regular bag consists 
of a waterproof outside covering with a broad flap 
at the top, which can be turned down over head and 
breast or erected on sticks to shed the wind. The 
inside consists of one or more pure woollen bags 
cut the exact shape of the cover and laced down one 
whole side and sometimes round the bottom to 
allow easy airing and proper ventilation. The sides 
are often provided with snap-buttons which are 
quickly adjusted and as quickly broken open. The 
best sleeping-bag I am acquainted with of the regular 
pattern is the "Johnson,** the cover of which meas- 
ures seven feet by three feet. It laces up as described 
above with a device which renders the operation a 
quick one. It is sold with any number of inner blank- 
ets, which are soft and not thick, on the theory that 
several thin layers hold the heat better than one of 
their combined weight. Three of these inner blankets 
are right for spring or autumn, two for summer, and 
four or five for winter. An advantage of this many- 
layer system is, that one can make his bed according 
to the temperature. Thus with the No. 4 ** Johnson*' 

52 The Way of the Woods 

bag, which has three inner blankets, the user may 
have three thicknesses under and three over him, or 
two over and four under, or one over- and five under; 
the more thicknesses there are underneath the cooler 
vet softer will be the bed. The No. 4 costs $13.75, 
and No. 3, with four blankets, costs $17. The former 
weighs twelve pounds. Another well-made bag is the 
** Kenwood,*' which has the opening in the top instead 
of at the side. Its blankets are woven nearly to the 
top, which renders ventilation more difficult. A very 

Fig. 6. — Carry-all Sleeping-bag 

excellent bag, especially for warm weather, is the 
"Gold Medal'* Camp-Combination (Carry- All), which, 
when spread out, has the shape of a Maltese cross. 
The sleeper lies on the central parallelogram, pulls 
the bottom flap up over his feet, then the two side 
flaps, one after the other, over his body, and finally, 
if desired, the top flap (which is pocket-shaped, so 
as to be stuffed out as a pillow) down over his head. 
The Carry- All is lined with one blanket, either heavy 
or extra-heavy, and is waterproof. It is furnished 
with grommets, so that it can be slung on side-poles 
or suspended as a hammock. It is very easy to get 

Personal Outfit 53 

out of, as a toss to right and left leaves the body free. 
It is significant that when I offer a guide the choice 
of sleeping-bags, of which I possess a number, he will 
generally take the Carry- All, which, indeed, is second 
choice, as he well knows that the "Comfort Sleeping- 
Pocket*' is reserved for the exclusive use of the **old 
man.** This bag, without which youngsters can get 
on quite well, is an expensive luxury, but, beyond that, 
has no faults save one: the **old woodsman** will 
turn up his nose at it (and its user) , for — whisper the 
heresy with bated breath — it is an air-bed! I said 
it had no other fault but the cost ($2 5 .00) . This is not 

FiCw. 7.— Comfort Sleeping-Pocket 

strictly true, for the Pocket is a little heavier than most 
camp-beds, weighing eighteen pounds, a fact which 
renders it unsuitable for overland trips without pack 
animals. It consists of an outside waterproof covering 
with top flap, one side buttoning with snap-buttons, 
the covering being blanket-lined and containing an 
air-sack three inches deep of strong rubber. No 
extra blanket is furnished with the Pocket, but a 
light one may be inserted. A pump comes with it, 
with which it can be inflated in a few minutes, or 
it can be blown up with the mouth, which I rather 
prefer. It certainly does take some moral courage to 
perform the operation of inflation in the presence 

54 The Way of the Woods 

of several jibing **old campers," but when finished 
and you ask them to recline for a moment, they go 
J)ack to their always carelessly made bough-beds 
with envy in their eyes. Hitherto I have found air- 
beds too cold, as they contained too many cubic inches 
to be warmed by the body, but the Pocket is thinner 
than the others and is consequently easily heated 
by the body, and it retains the heat well. Like all 
**old campers," I have always entertained a prejudice 
against air-beds, which seemed to me to smack all 
too much of effete luxury, but I confess to having con- 
quered this prejudice. The longer I roam the woods 
the more thoroughly convinced I become that, the 
most important feature of camp life is the night *s 
sleep, and my recollection fairly swarms with the 
anathemas of guides and friends, who, too proud or 
too lazy to build a proper bough-bed (a task involving 
a lot of work), cursed **that blamed rock" or **that 
darned stick" that was just under some tender 
spot in their anatomies and seriously disturbed their 
slumber. Give a man a good bed and he will do more, 
do it better, and have a lot more fun doing it than 
his neighbour who throws himself down anywhere 
and upon anything, just because he has schooled him- 
self to bear with (but not to disregard, look you!) 
the sticks and stones and humps and roots which make 
a smooth place a rare thing in the north woods. It 
is an interesting, a meritorious task to live comfortably 
in the woods with the very least possible help from 
civilised appliances, and if the object of your outing 
is principally to do that, then the cant phrase ** play- 
ing the game fairly" would be appropriate and you 
would not only leave air-beds at home, but also 
waterproof tents, breech-loading rifles, jointed fishing- 

Personal Outfit 55 

rods, yes, let us be logical, — friction matches, cooking- 
kits, and all clothes save those of skin! The reductio 
ad absurdum shows that it is a question of drawing the 
line. The man who prefers to go into the woods 
with one blanket, the clothes he has on, and the 
provisions he can carry on his back, two cooking 
and eating implements, a piece of fish-line, and his 
rifle and axe, in order to ** match himself against the 
forces of nature** and win from her by his woods- 
manship a comfortable existence, is quite justified 
in his undertaking and plays a fascinating though 
arduous game. But he will have little time for any- 
thing but the scratching for food, fire, and shelter. 
Most campers are not out for this purpose, but to 
breath the pure air, to hunt, to fish, to botanise, 
collect, photograph, to paddle, to walk, to see the 
country. For my part the making of a bough-bed 
has ceased to be anything else but a disagreeable 
necessity; I would rather spend a half-hour (and in 
less time no decent bed can be made) in preparing 
the supper, or making notes, or cruising about camp 
before dark to look for signs of animals, or fishing the 
nearest pool, or rustling wood. In a word it is as 
time-savers, as well as comforts, that modern im- 
provements are to be looked upon. This is one advan- 
tage of the Comfort Pocket. You unroll and spread 
it out in the tent anywhere, only throwing out large 
stones and sharp roots, inflate it, and a soft, warm 
bed is assured you. The degree of softness is regu- 
lated by the inflation; if just right the bed will yield 
to your every movement, shoulder and hip find ready- 
made those little excavations that old campers 
sometimes dig for themselves in the ground under 
their blankets. The Pocket is hard to puncture, the 

56 The Way of the Woods 

rubber itself and the covering being very tough. 
Sparks are its chief enemies. I used one for a year, 
sleeping in it for perhaps 150 nights, and it seemed 
to be in perfect condition at the end. The only thing 
that disturbed my ^limibers was the thought that I 
was a brute to enjoy it all alone, and the sneaking idea, 
born of many years of roughing it, that I had no 
moral right to be so thoroughly comfortable in the 
woods! In it I slept out a half a dozen nights in 
autiunn and several times snuggled down deep, 
pulled the top flap over me, and laughed at the hard 
cold rain pattering on the cover. In the morning 
the flap was frozen stiff but I had passed a com- 
fortable night, being, of course, provided with warm 

Fur-lined sleeping-bags are rather warm for any 
season but winter, besides being heavier and less easy 
to ventilate. A good bag may be made from a nine- 
foot down quilt (often to be picked up shop- worn at a 
low price) folded and laced round the bottom and 
part of one side. It should really have a waterproof 
cover, which the camper may make himself if he is 
ingenious. It may be cut from so-called balloon-silk 
(close, thin cotton) waterproofed (see Waterproofing 
under Tents). 

The sleeping-bag cannot be kicked off like blankets 
and it may be used in place of the war-bag, to hold 
extra clothes, sponge-bag, towel, etc. 

I mention these because I usually pack them in 
my sleeping-bag, the sponge-bag folding in the towels. 
Sponge-bag The bag should be a stout one. In it 
Towels are a very small sponge for the face, a 
rather larger but yet small ditto for the body. 

Personal Outfit 57 

the tooth-brush inside a bag of its own, a stout 
nail-brush, a piece of pumice-stone, and a half cake of 
soap in a celluloid case, the other half being stored 
as reserve in the war-bag. Tar soap is recommended 
for fly-time, or, if the odour is not liked, hand- 
sapolio. One towel, which can be washed often, 
is enough. The best is an old and soft bath-towel 
of unbleached linen colour. A special face towel 
may be taken if desired. Tooth-paste in tubes is 
best. The sponges, or one of them, may be omitted ; 
in fact toilet articles are quite a personal item. I 
have often limited them to comb, tooth-brush, and 

A soft lambskin or sheepskin is an excellent thing 
to take in case a single blanket is used, sheeDskin 
making a soft and warm bed. 

Inflatable rubber cushions I personally hate. The 
Sleeping-Pocket is furnished with one, but I leave it at 
home. A small linen-covered hair or down 
pillow may be taken on easy trips to make a 
smooth top to a bunch of spare clothes. If you cannot 
swim and are likely to cross big lakes a rubber cushion, 
one of the kind with a life-line round the edges, will 
not be out of place. The best pillow is a fifteen-inch 
bag made of denim or brown linen left open at one 
end, which is furnished with a pair of short tapes. 
This is filled on the tenting ground with balsam tips, 
exhaling the sweetest, wholesomest odour in the world. 
If no balsam is to be had any other filling will do, 
extra clothing being the usual substitute. 

Leaving the air-bed out of the argument the most 

58 The Way of the Woods 

suitable forest mattress is the browse- or bough-bed 
(see Making Camp). In regions where this cannot 
be counted on, a portable bed-tick, a trifle 
less than three feet wide and six and a half 
feet long, is convenient. This is filled with moss, 
leaves, clothing, or anything else that is suitable. 
Perhaps better is the double endless bag, made of 
light duck or canvas, seven feet long, which is filled 
with hay, leaves, browse, or clothing and either laid 
upon the ground or stretched on two"stout poles thrust 
through the sides and fastened to logs at head and foot. 

Some campers take along a haversack or cart- 
ridge-bag carried at the side by a strap round the 
shoulder. Such a bag is convenient, but 
the many large pockets with which the 
sportsman should be provided rather obviate its 


These vary with the tastes of the camper. Fire- 
arms for warm-weather trips have been discussed 
already. Fishing-tackle will come under Angling. 




The average woman of 1830 had a traditional 
dread of everything mannish; she cultivated the 
languid; her appetite was rather delicate; she was 
given to fainting. If she could have foreseen the 
Yankee girl of 1908 she would have believed that 
the Amazons had returned to life and emigrated 
from the banks of the Thermodon to people the 
United States. And of a truth the girl of the day is 
a different being from her grandmother, taller, 
stronger, healthier. All she has lost is just a bit of 
womanly tenderness, after all a real loss, but more 
than compensated for by her gains. She has been 
benefited even more than her brother by the ** nearer 
to nature'* movement, and sports have become 
almost as much a part of her life as of his. There is 
no reason -^hy she should not imitate ber ancestress 
who accompanied her husband into the wilderness and 
there carved out a home. Camping-out may be made 
as easy as one likes, and her participation in the 
more strenuous phases of forest life, as big game 
hunting, or mountaineering, may depend alone on 
her physical prowess. One other thing, however, 
she will probably do well to consider, namely, the 
question whether or not she is really wanted on the 
trip; for there is unfortunately a very large class 


6o The Way of the Woods 

of male sportsmen who absolutely refuse to be 
** bothered by women-folks in camp.'* It must be 
confessed that in too many cases a man takes his 
ladies into the woods entirely on their account, from 
a sense of duty, and that ladies in the majority 
of cases are really a bother, for they require, tacitly 
if not actually, constant attention of one kind or the 
other, and their comparative lack of mobility hampers 
the movements of the party. I say **in the majority 
of cases,'* for women there are who fall in with forest 
ways so readily, and who help themselves, and 
understand how to make the men feel at liberty to do 
what they like without regard to them (all in reason 
of course), to the extent that the lords of creation 
at the end of the trip vote them ** bricks" and 
**not a bit in the way/* That is high praise for 
the woman camper, which she should strive to 

The important thing to cultivate is independence. 
Let the men of the party once discover that the lady 
does not require to be mollicoddled or waited on all 
day long and that she is a **good sport," which is 
another way of saying that she takes everything as 
it comes, and her path will be easy, as well as that of 
her male companions. But from the nervous woman, 
or the petulant one, or her who screams at sight of a 
mouse or an innocent daddy-longlegs — ^good Lord 
deliver us! It is mostly a matter of that first of 
social qualities, tact. Blessed is she who is helpful 
without seeming to interfere; happy is she who is 
not afraid that her hands will roughen, her feet grow 
broad, and her crow's-feet deepen. 

Several women with experience in camping have 
favoured me with th'^ir views, and the gist of their 

Women in the Woods 6i 

wisdom follows. It is understood that spring and 
summer are the seasons in question. 


Outer Dress: Full duxbak or khaki suit with fairly short 
skirt; extra cloth skirt; brown or dark grey knickerbockers. 
Silk neckerchief. Canvas leggings. 

Underwear: Two or three sets medium weight combination 

Shirts: Grey flannel shirt, similar to men's, with watch- 
pocket in breast. Sweater. 

Stockings: 3 or 4 pair coarse cotton (or silk or light wool?) 
for high boots. Heavy wool stockings for moccasins. 

Headgear: Felt hat with stiff brim (to keep veil from face) 
or straw sailor-hat. Dark chiffon veil. Black silk head-net. 

Gloves: Pair of thick chamois. Rubber gloves if much 
washing or other camp- work is to be done. 

Footwear: High waterproof lace-boots for tramping. 
Moccasins for canoe. Felt slippers for camp. Knit bed- 

Toilet-articles: Tooth-brush, tooth-powder, hand-mirror, 
brush and comb, soap in celluloid case, leather bottle-case, 

Medicines, etc: In bottle-case: Pond's Extract, brandy, 
Jamaica ginger, vial anmionia, soda-mint tablets, cold- 

Specialties: Rubber wash-basin. Two small nesting pails 
for hot and cold water. (Here the author raises his eyebrows !) 

Waterproofs, etc: Yachting oilskin jacket. Light-weight 
rubber poncho. Rubber hood with cape. 

A word in regard to appearance. Men like women 
to be real women, to be modest, and to be as good- 
looking as they can be. Modesty is not so much a 
matter of dress as of demeanour. One woman can wear 
knickerbockers without a skirt and appear perfectly 
natural and modest while another — simply can*t. 
But, in the name of all that is beautiful and practical, 

62 The Way of the Woods 

do not wear those things called bloomers, great form- 
less baggy balloons, that are as ugly as they are 
awkward. Knickers should be well-fitting though 
loose and easy and should be gathered below the 
knee either by straps or light elastics. 



For the average temporary dweller in the wilder- 
ness his tent will be his home and therefore shares 
with his bed the honour of being the most important 
feature of the camp. For permanent camps tents 
made of canvas (8- or lo-ounce duck) not waterproof 
may be used, as they can be furnished with a **fly" 
to stretch over the top, which sheds rain and, on 
account of the current of air between tent and fly, 
makes the former cooler. Wall-tents with windows 
are best for permanent camps. 

But we are now concerned more with shelters which 
must be taken with us, and therefore, to save weight, 
no fly is used, but the tent is made of some waterproof 
material, by far the best being the so-called ** balloon- 
silk,'* a thin but stout and durable Egyptian cotton- 
duck, which, in its waterproofed state, was first used 
by the firm of Abercrombie & Fitch in their tents. 
These **silk" tents cost more than most others but 
last longer and weigh from one third to two fifths less, 
besides being less bulky. They may now be found 
in the catalogues of several dealers who have imitated 
the originators. 

There are many different varieties of tent, and 

64 The Way of the Woods 

eax^h has its devotees ; it is pretty generally a matter 
of locality. 

A tent for general use at all seasons in the north 
woods is hard to designate. Perhaps the lean-to 
(Baker or shelter-tent), with a front capable of being 
fastened down so as completely to close the tent 
in stormy weather, would be first choice. But nearly 
every woods-dweller who comes from civilisation 
can get away during one season only, spring, summer, 
or autumn, seldomer in winter. Many years' experi- 
ence have brought me to the conviction that for 
spring and summer the best tent is the wall-tent, 
unless extreme lightness of kit is a necessity, in which 
case an A-tent is the thing. For autumn the lean-to 
as above described is best. If it were not for the 
prevalence of insects and rains during spring and 
early summer I would never use any tent but the 
open lean-to, but facts are facts, and one of them is 
that in the roomy wall-tent you can fight flies and 
keep out rain better than in a shelter more open to 
the elements. Moreover nowadays wall-tents are 
made with windows and are thus less stuffy than 
of yore. 

The ideal wall-tent for two persons (big enough ior 
three) is the 7i by 9 feet ** waterproof silk, " with back 
The Ideal window of bobbinet which may be closed 
Wall-tent with a flap, and a 9 inch sod-cloth 
running round the bottom edge inside. Poles, 
stones, or camp stuff, guns, etc., are laid on the 
sod-cloth, keeping out weather and insects. (See 
tent on the left in the frontispiece.) The usual 
tent has a simple slit down the front as a door, but 
my mosquito-proof tent has an oval opening covered 





Camp Baggage 65 

with bobbinet, which may either be drawn together 
in the middle like a spider's web by pulling on a 
cord, or, as may be seen in the picture, tied back 
round the edge, allowing free passage, except that one 
must pick up one's feet at the "threshold/* The 
opening is also covered, when wanted, by a flap of 
the regular material. It will be seen that Mr. S. E. 
White's objection, ** fitting tightly enough so that 
you have almost to crawl when you enter, and so 
arranged that it is impossible to hang it up out of the 
way," is hardly just. Mr. White recommends rather 
an inner tent of cheese-cloth made without any open- 
ing whatever. This is suspended from the ridge- 
pole, slung aside when not needed, and dropped when 
you go to bed. Cheese-cloth tents of this kind can 
now be bought ready-made. Be sure to kill all insects 
after drawing the netting for the night. You will 
have to chase the '*skeets," while the midges will be 
mostly found on the front of the tent, down low, and 
the black flies at the top in the lightest, warmest comer. 
(Those interested in midge-proof tents may consult the \ 
article by Mr. H. W. Van Wagenen in Forest and \ 
Stream for June 2, 1906.) 

The wall-tent in our frontispiece weighs 1 1 pounds 
and costs, without window or netting door, about 
$20.00. Door and window will bring the cost a few 
dollars higher. The same tent for two persons, 7^ 
by 7i feet, weighs 9 pounds, and costs, without 
'*fixin's," about $16.00. In the A form, which 
does not give quite so much room to move round 
in, the smaller tent weighs ji pounds and costs 
$13.50. The A tent may be furnished with a 25-foot 
ridge-rope, by which it can be suspended between 
two trees. The rope may be made tauter by forked 

66 The Way of the Woods 

poles just outside the tent ends. Where no trees are 
available the two ends of the rope may be made fast 
to stakes in the ground and braced up by the forked 

The proper manner to set up a wall-tent, and, in 
case no ridge-rope is used, also an A tent, may be 
seen in the frontispiece. It will be noticed that, 
instead of the usual perpendicular pole in front, the 
ridge-pole is supported by two crossed slanting poles, 
in this case the setting-poles of our two canoes. 
The entrance is thus left unimpeded. At the back 
the usual single pole is used. The operation of actual 
setting up is described under Making Camp, 

In the autumn, when the flies have ceased from 
troubling, the lean-to is the best forest home, at 
Lean-to least for temporary purposes, and merits 
Tents its popularity with most woodsmen except 

perhaps on a rainy day, when a closed tent has its 
merits. The principal advantages of the lean-to 
are its airiness and warmth, as it absorbs by reason 
of its slanting roof the heat of the camp-fire in front. 
A glance at the tent on the right of the picture already 
mentioned (frontispiece) will show the construction 
of a lean-to, or Baker tent, which is about 7 feet high 
at the front and 2^ feet in the back wall. It has a 
front wall, thrown or rolled back (as in our picture) in 
fair weather, which reaches to the ground and can be 
buttoned to the side triangles in a storm, making a 
completely closed tent." In a light rain, or to keep 
out a too ardent sun, this flap may be stretched out 
horizontally in front, forming a kind of portico, the 
comers being attached to poles. The 7i by yi silk 
lean-to costs $18.00 and weighs 10 pounds. The 

Camp Baggage 


9 by 7i, which costs $20.00, is quite large enough for 
four persons, provided a tarpaulin or other shelter 
is taken along for the provisions and other extra 
baggage. I have often been one of four in the smaller 
size, though it must be confessed that there was no 
more than room to sleep. Two tents had better be 
carried if the party consists of four or more, in which 
case one alone will do for short side trips. 

Since the A, the wall, and the lean-to are the most 
suitable tents for the north woods, there would appear 
to be no reason to describe the many other 
varieties such as the Sibley, the Protean 
the **poleless,'* the miner's, the **vestibtile," the 

Fig. 8.— Frazer Canoe-tent 

Indian teepee, etc., descriptions of which may be 
found in the dealers' catalogues. 

The Frazer canoe-tent, mentioned by Mr. Perry 
D. Frazer in his Canoe Cruising and Camping, is 

68 The Way of the Woods 

primarily a one-man tent, though there is room for 

two to sleep on the ground if must be. It is a 

_ ^ ^ conical tent with steep sides, thus shedding 
CflTioff —tents 

rain, though not of waterproof cloth, and 

has a flap on one side that opens as a door. It is 

easily set up and not heavy. The price is about 

$12.00. (Apply to Hemenway & Son, 54 South 

Street, New York City.) 

For a fast trip through the woods, as in prospecting 
or scouting for game, a small tent is of advantage, the 
One-man dealers having a variety. If a cot is pre- 
Tent ferred the combination cot and tent sold 

by the Gold Medal Company is the best I know, 
folding up into a space 38 inches long and 8 inches 

Never take ready-made poles, stakes, or pins 
Tent into the woods, as they are better cut on 

Furnishings the camping-ground. In treeless regions 
it is different. 

A bag of drill, gathered with a cord at the top, 
should be provided for every tent. It should be made 
big enough to contain extra articles if necessary. 

This is really a misnomer, as no tent is a proper 
habitation for the north woods winter. Nevertheless 
Winter they can be, and often are, used at that 
Tents season. I have spent some weeks in 

late autumn and early winter in a ** waterproof 
silk'* wall-tent, in fact the one described above. It 
is provided with an asbestos-rimmed stove-pipe 
hole. A stove is necessary. In very cold weather 
one must be careful in folding waterproofed tents, 

Camp Baggage 69 

as they easily break. Warm them slightly therefore 
before packing. 

For a tent not larger than 9 by 7^ the stove should 
be small, in order not to take up too much room. I 
have used the common round pot-stove, 
1 1 inches in diameter, with one hole in the 
top, and found it sufficient to cook on and a good 
deal more than sufficient as a heater. In fact the 
worst thing about a tent-stove is that it blows hot 
and blows cold alternately, but is extremely difficult 
to keep temperate without constant attention, as the 
fire bums out so quickly. Hence you may go to 
sleep with the mercury at 80 and wake up in a couple 
of hours to find it 10. The secret is to get the hang 
of the door and damper, so that the fire will burn 
slowly, and to have a supply of good hardwood cut 
the proper length. A bed of small stones and earth 
may be laid for the stove to stand on, and stones 
should be built up round it to prevent the bedding or 
browse from catching fire, as the stove gets red-hot 
in a jiffy. The pot-stove described costs $3.00, with 
four lengths of two-foot telescopic stove-pipe. It 
has no bottom. There is also a folding camp-stove 
oblong in shape and having two top holes. It folds 
into a space 27 inches long, 12 inches high, and i inch 
wide, and weighs in its canvas case 13 i pounds in the 
smaller size. The price is $5.75. It has no bottom, 
a steel bottom with legs costing $2.50 extra, but it is 
not necessary if a proper rock or clay bed is made for 
it. Another variety is the box-stove, which does not 
fold and costs one dollar less. The pipe-lengths of these 
stoves fit into each other, the lower one being provided 
with a spring damper. With the stoves may be used 

70 The Way of the Woods 

an oven for baking and roasting, which fits on to the 
stove and is heated by the smoke and heat of the 
fire passing round it. 

Tents, or indeed almost any fabric, may be rendered 
waterproof and practically spark-proof as follows: 
Wafer- Dissolve i pound powdered alum in a 

\y proofing bucket (say 4 gallons) of soft boiling water, 

and in another receptacle i pound of sugar of lead 
in the same quantity of water. When dissolved 

yj and clear, pour first the alum solution and then the 

sugar of lead into another vessel. After standing 
several hours pour off the water, letting any thick 
sediment remain, and soak the fabric thoroughly 
in it, kneading it well. Wring out only slightly and 
hang up to dry. 
' Waterproofing may also be done with paraffine, 

but this process does not protect the fabric against 
sparks so well as the former. The paraffine may be 
rubbed or grated on to the cloth laid on a table and a 
moderately hot iron does the rest. A more thorough 
way is to dissolve the grated paraffine in benzine or 
turpentine and apply with a stiff brush to the stretched 

Some recommend colouring tents a light tan in 
order to be less easily seen, cooler, and less attractive 
Tinting to flies. Mr. Kephart says that this can 
Tent be done with a dye made of 2 pounds 

white oak bark in 3^ gallons of boiling water. Or a 
commercial dye may be used. It should be done 
before waterproofing. The ideal summer tent would 
have a dark roof and light sides. 

When a single tent is taken and sidetrips of the 

Camp Baggage 71 

duration of only a day or two are projected, a fly 
which can be used as a shelter is very con- 
venient. It should be made of some thin 
but stout material, No. i Egyptian sail-cloth being the 
best, and waterproofed. (See page 70.) Eight by nine 
feet is a good size, and the fly should have grommets 
at each comer and at frequent intervals along the sides, 
or steel rings strongly se'^Ved on. In each comer- 
grommet may be fastened a small rope about 4 feet 
long. When at the main camp this fly may be used as 
a dining or storage canopy (see illustration opposite 
page 70), while on side trips it serves as a tent, 
put up lean-to style, or, for one man, like an A tent, 
with one end pinched in and closed. On canoe 
journeys it is spread over the duflBe. 

Unless your tent is provided with either a netting- 
door or an inner tent of cheese-cloth or bobbinet, 
it is advisable in fly time to have some Mosquito- 
kind of a mosquito-bar. This should be bars 
an individual article unless large enough to cover 
the whole inside of the tent. The single bar 
may have a top consisting of a small hoop, perhaps 
a foot in diameter, covered with cheese-cloth, the 
net, composed of the same material, falling in the 
shape of a bell about 4 feet long and the same wide, 
the bottom edge being weighted with half a dozen 
buck-shot sewed into a tape. The hoop is suspended 
at the proper height from the ridge-pole, the net 
falling over the head and across the waist. Com- 
mon mosquito-netting is too coarse to keep out 
no-see-ums or small black flies. I have found a head- 
net fairly efficacious, but not when it happened to 
touch the face. 


The Way of the Woods 

A ground-cloth of brown waterproof canvas, large 
enough at least to cover the space in the camp 
Ground- between the beds, is a luxury, especially 
doth in a wet season. It is taken up during 

the day unless the ground is damp. It costs about 
$.06 per square foot. If a poncho is in the party 
it may be used nights as a ground-cloth. 


If trips of short duration are undertaken in such 
light marching order that not even a fly is allowed 
to burden the kit, it is necessary to knock up some 

Fig. 9. — Frame for Lean-to Shelter 

kind of a shelter for the night. In the case of a man 
with a waterproof sleeping-bag with broad head- 
flap this need not be more than a wind- or rain-break. 
If a fly or poncho is taken it is set up on a frame 
consisting of two forked uprights connected by a 

Camp Baggage 

cross-pole, and a slanting pole running down to the 
ground from each fork, with perhaps a third in the 

Fig. 10. — Poncho-Shelter 

middle. Shorter forked poles braced against the 
side-poles keep the frame stiff and strong. If no 
artificial shelter is taken a frame similar to the 
above is made and the space between the two (or 
three) slanting poles (covered in the lean-to by- 
canvas or poncho) is filled by laying parallel poles 
closely over it, the whole being then thickly covered 
with evergreen boughs. If an old, easily peeled hem- 
lock is available, and there is time, cover the poles 
partially with bark before adding the boughs. Fill 
in the sides with boughs, or small, thick evergreen 
trees, and you will have a very comfortable camp, 
which will be rendered glad and warm by the camp- 
fire in front. A somewhat similar camp, suitable 
for a single person, is made by felling a hemlock. 

74 The Way of the Woods 

cutting at about 4 or 5 feet from the ground, leaning 
the trunk firmly and safely on the stump and filling 

in one side with the limbs and boughs cut from the 
side destined for the front. 


This consists merely in inverting and bracing the 
canoe as a shelter for the head, evergreen boughs 
being banked thickly at the sides to break the wind. 

If the weather looks at all threatening better take 
a fly, tarpaulin or poncho; the 4 or 5 extra pounds 
are likely to repay their transport well. 

Persons of any skill and ingenuity can make 
their own tents, and I strongly recommend them to 
Tent-mak- do so, especially if a good model is obtain- 
ing able from which to copy. A third or 
more of the cost will be saved. The very best 

Camp Baggage 75 

material is No. i, Egyptian sail-cloth duck, which 
can be obtained of Harrington, King & Co., 79 
Commercial Street, Boston, Mass. It is 31 inches 

Fig. 12. — Canoe-Shelter 

wide and costs $.22 per yard. The other necessary 
materials are light canvas for binding, grbmmets, 
braided clothesline, etc. 


Camp furniture may be divided into necessary 
articles, such as axes, cooking utensils, and pack- 
baskets, and more or less unnecessary ones, as chairs, 
hangers, folding tables, electric lamps, etc. 

The longer a man lives in the wilderness the more 
he loves and depends on his axe, and he will usually 
lug one with him even for a single night, 
looking upon all hatchets as playthings. 
And it must be confessed that the only absolutely 
satisfactory instrument of the family is the big, long- 
handled axe, and a full-sized one should be taken along 
if the party contains three or more persons, neces- 
sitating the cutting of much wood. For small parties 
or on short trips a *' half-axe" (2^ pounds) will do, 


76 The Way of the Woods 

though a ** three-quarter" (3 pounds) is better; in fact 
the three-quarter in the hands of a good axeman is a 
a pretty efficient weapon, and is quite large enough for 
warm-weather trips unless a cabin is to be built. Axe- 
handles made by manufacturers are nearly always 
too crooked, and the first thing a woodsman does 
is to **hang'* the head on a handle of his own make. 
An amateur cannot do this, but he can buy the 
straightest handle he can find and see that it is in 
absolute line with both edge and back of the head. 
In a permanent camp have two axes; two men like 
to chop together; it is company and lightens the 
work. Besides it offers an excellent chance for the 
tenderfoot to take a valuable lesson in this difficult 
and necessary art. Imitate the guide and get him 
to criticise. It is hard work, especially until one gets 
the knack of it, but there is no exercise better suited 
to knit the frame together and strengthen back 
and shoulders. The axe is a dangerous implement in 
the hands of a duffer, who is always wanting to get 
hold of it and hack at something, to the detriment 
of the axe and the agony of its owner, who will 
probably have to devote the best part of an hour to 
filing down some nick in the edge. If you see such a 
man start ** fooling*' with a good axe (and no other 
should be in camp) face him with determination, 
even if he be your superior officer in everyday life, 
and offer him the choice of two alternatives: either 
to keep his hands off the axe or to proceed at once 
to learn how to use it under the eye of the best axe- 
man in camp. For not only the axe suffers but also 
its wielder, and even among old woodsmen there are 
few who do not carry a scar or two made by a glanc- 
ing blow. Very few **city fellers" are good axemen. 

Camp Baggage 77 

Some of them may rival the guides in using the rod 
and gun, and can even tote as much and cook better, 
but when it comes to swinging the ringing steel nine 
out of ten have to ** cry small." This is quite natural, 
for every guide begins to use an axe before he can 
lift it, and most have served an apprenticeship in the 
lumber-woods. On the other hand the sportsman, 
feeling: his inferiority and not wishing to waste time 
(or show his weakness!), leaves all the heavy chopping 
to the guides and thus gets no practice in the art. 
But this is wrong. Take a few lessons, and while 
practising be sure to deliver the stroke in such a 
manner that, if the axe or hand slips, the edge will 
fly clear of your legs. Like fencing or billiards it can 
be learned, at least to a certain degree of proficiency, 
and it is as much a matter of knack as of muscle. The 
perfect judgment as to where to strike, the unerring 
eye and hand, the Economy of every pound of muscle, 
the nice gradation of effort which might be called the 
• dynamics of chopping, in a word the absolute ease 
I and finish of the stroke — all this is indeed an art. 

I There is nothing in the woods that so fills the ama- 

I teur with despairing admiration and envy as the 

manner in which an old woodsman uses his axe. 

Before starting grind your axe well or have it done 
for you. A new axe must be ground as well as an 
old one. 

There is nothing to be gained by including in this 
manual elaborate rules for using the axe, as it can be 
learned solely in the woods and from experience, 
learning from and watching the work of a good axe- 
man. But there is one golden rule: don't try to 
strike too hard a blow; be accurate first and increase 
th§ force only as you acquire accuracy. Get to know 

78 The Way of the Woods 

the character of the trees in your region and the 
quality of their woods, especially in regard to cutting 
and burning. Do not leave an axe out all night if it 
freezes; the steel will become brittle. Avoid knots 
whenever possible. 

Take with you a file (probably already in your 
fishing-tackle repair-kit) and a carborundum . stone, 
Sharpening with which, barring a very deep nick, you 
and Renew- can keep your axe in good condition. A 
ing Handles leather muzzle or case is recommended for 
the axe, to be used in transportation; I have seen 
both men and canoes injured by sharp axes in 

To burn out handles sink the head in soft earth up 
to the handle and build a fire round it; it will not hurt 
the temper. 

A camp-hatchet should be taken as an adjunct 
to the axe, for pitching tents, making brush-camps, 
Hat het cutting browse, splitting small wood, and 
general use about camp, as well as to take 
on side trips, for which reason it should have a 
leather muzzle with straps to attach to the belt. 
There are two varieties, the light and the heavy. 
The best of the light kind is the Marble Safety Axe, 
which is made of very excellent material and is small 
enough to carry in the hip- or coat-pocket, though 
better slung on the belt, where it is out of the way, 
except in sitting down, when it can be pulled forward 
so as not to interfere. The tomahawk shape is best 
for a light hatchet. The Marble, which has a safety 
guard fitting back into the handle when not in use, 
comes in 16-, 20- and 27-ounce weights. The heaviest 

Camp Baggage 79 

is the most desirable for real use in the woods. ($3.00.) 
There may be other light axes to be bought cheaper 
of dealers, but my experience with numbers of them 
has been unfortunate, as they either have poor and 
brittle steel or the handles are far too curved, the 
proper handle being nearly or quite straight, as a 
curved handle makes the hatchet awkward to use as 
a hammer. The Marble hatchet is provided with a 
nail-extractor, a handy feature. 

The heavy variety of hatchets I personally prefer, 
for the simple reason that more can be accomplished 
with a heavier head, and they are but slightly bulkier 
than the pocket axe. A heavy hatchet should have 
a stout head weighing at least two pounds (I prefer ^ 
2^) and a 15- or, better, 17-inch handle. Such a one 
is the Collins, which, with leather carrying-case, costs 
$1.50. With it you can cut down good-sized trees 
if necessary. See that your hatchet is not too thin 
each side where the handle fits into the head ; other- 
wise a smart blow with the side when driving stakes 
will likely crack it. The side is not the best place 
to hit with, but one instinctively uses it when, for 
example, the stake is thin or its top becomes smashed 
out broad. A good and slightly lighter hatchet is the ' 
'*Peavey," weighing ij pounds. 

Saws, spades, and such implements should be left 
at home unless their use is foreseen, as in the case 
of building a cabin. A few rivets, washers, ^ . 

etc. will be contained in your knapsack 
tool-kit anyhow. Two items, however, should not 
be forgotten: a couple of dozen stout nails, say at 
least 3 inches long, and a coil of small rope, or braided 
cotton clothes-line, perhaps 20 or 30 feet. The nails 


The Way of the Woods 

go into the bottom of the pack-basket, while the 
rope may be kept in the tent-bag, into which may 
also go a half a dozen raw-hide thongs. 

This is hardly necessary, but if taken it shotdd be 
a good one covered with thick felt and over that 
brown duck. The canteen may be of alu- 
minum if only for water, but alcoholic 
drinks should not be carried in aluminum. A good 
canteen is that approved by the army; it is provided 
with a strap to carry round the shoulder and costs 



In one-pole tents, like the Sibley, patent hangers, 
for clothes, guns, etc. are handy, but have 
no place in wall-tents or lean-tos. 


The north woods camper looks upon these things, 
Ready-made such as folding chairs, table, shelves, and 
Furniture the like, with some disdain on account 
of their bulk. If you change camp often it is 
a bother to carry them, and if you 
make a permanent home most of 
them can be manufactured with 
the axe. (See Making Camp). One 
exception is perhaps the folding 
brown-duck water-pail. This, how- 
ever, is also really unnecessary if the 
cooking and camping kit described 
in Chapter VIII is taken, for it con- 
tains three pails. The folding bucket 
is convenient when pack-animals 
are used. As for wash-basins and 
tubs, the north woods are full of them; they are 

Fig. 13. — Folding 

Camp Baggage 8i 

generally called lakes and streams. If the trip is 
an easy one with few and short carries a folding 
table is legitimate, as it is very convenient and saves 
time, but its proper place is in a permanent camp. 

On easy trips take two lanterns for a party of 

four, one common round lantern with wires to protect 

it and burning kerosene, and a folding **Stonebridge*' 

lantern which takes candles, but they ^ , 

must not be the common **wax** or tallow 

candles found in country stores, as these are apt to 

wilt in a **Stonebridge," but of the hard-pressed 

variety. See that they fit the lantern before buying. 

(Price, altunintun, $2.75 with case; steel $1.00 less.) 

Either kerosene or carbide may be used in the big 
lantern, the latter being cleaner. Kerosene should 
be carried in cans with screw-tops and wrapped in a 
special cloth. It should not be kept near the provis- 
ions, for obvious reasons. For candlesticks see 
Making Camp. 

Acetylene and similar lighting outfits are unfit for 
the woods on account of their bulk; and they smack 
too much of cities. 

A small electric pocket lamp is convenient when 
you want to get up early and have to consult your 
watch. I have taken great comfort in one when 
moose-calling, as it saved repeated searching for and 
striking matches in the morning before crawling out 
of my bag. For ordinary trips it is an out-and-out 

A woodsman of ingenuity can, at a pinch, fit 
himself out pretty well in the summer season with- 


82 The Way of the Woods 

out recourse to the shops. Forks, spoons, and other 
implements are whittled out with the jack-knife 
Rustic and plates cut from the bark of the birch 

Utensils or hemlock. Flat stones may serve as 
plates and also broilers. A good spoon is made of 
a clamshell held by a split handle tied with string or 
a piece of spruce root. A good drinking-cup is 
fashioned of a parallelogram of birchbark twisted 
into pyramid form and fastened with a split stick. 
Do not, however, strain your confidence in its work- 
manship to the point of letting any liquid stand long 
in it. 

Fig. 14.— Bark Drinking-Cup 

An absolute necessity in every camp is the pot- 
lifter, which is merely a green stick about 18 
inches long, formed by allowing a few inches of a 
stout branch to remain. (See Making Camp,) It 
should be kept in a special place when not in use, 
to avoid useless searching. In a permanent camp a 
broom is a good thing. It is made by tying hemlock 
twigs round some kind of a handle and trimming them 

Camp Baggage 


With the aid of old tin cans several utensils can be 
manufactured, for instance a cup, a handle being 
fashioned of wire which is bound round top and 
bottom, the handle coming between. (For cooking- 
kits see Cookery), 


The pack-basket is the favourite carrying contri- 
vance of the north woods, and rightly so, for it is the 
most convenient and the driest. It has a Pack- 

flat back to fit the carrier's person and Basket 

straps to go over the shoulders, with sometimes 
an extra tump-line for the forehead. One variety, 
very popular in the Maritime Provinces, has a 
single broad strap which 
goes round the bearer's 
chest, but one must be 
accustomed to this from 
boyhood to overcome the 
feeling of oppression in 
the chest. Pack-baskets 
are to be fotmd at any 
•'jumping-off place,** and 
are generally furnished gra- 
tis by the guides, but they 
are always of the common 
kind with no protection 
against the wet. The deal- 
ers offer a better one, though too high in proportion 
to its breadth, covered with waterproof canvas that 
will keep its contents dry even in a deluge. The 
best quality ($5.00 or $6.00) is provided with a 
locking apparatus. - Nessmuk advocated the loose 

Fig 15.— Pack Basket 


The Way of the Woods 

knapsack for carrying provisions, a very bad piece 
of advice. 


Bags made especially for provisions, and designed 
to be carried in a pack-harness (see below), are 
Provision- also sold by the dealers. They cost 
Bags from $.75 to $1.50, according to size. I 

much prefer pack-baskets. If chosen, the waterproof 
food-bags made especially to fit the harness are recom- 
mended. They are of several sizes, according, to the 
kind of provision to be contained in each, 
and cost from $1.00 per dozen (holding 
S pounds) to $1.50 (holding 10 pounds). It will be 
necessary to have separate food- 
bags of some kind for the pro- 
visions. If made at home 
waterproof No. i. sail-cloth duck 
is best. 

They should be from 8 to 18 
inches in length and wide in 
proportion, and should have 
running tapes at their mouths. 
Potatoes, onions, canned goods. 

Fig. i6.-Pack.Hamess ^*^- ^^^ ^^^^^^^^ ^^"^^^ ^^ ^^^- 
with Food-Bags ^^^ meal-bags. 

This is a combination of straps and canvas shoulder- 
piece which I never go far without, for you can pack 
Pack-Har- anything in it — tents, sleeping-bags, pro- 
ness visions, etc. It costs, with tump-line, 

$2.75, and, if you plan to do much carrying, my 
advice is to get one, for you are then sure of a 
load that sits easily on the shoulders and is prop- 
erly balanced. My fellow-guides said sarcastic 

Camp Baggage 


things about mine when I first produced it; now they 
borrow it. 

This head-carrier consists of a band of leather 
attached to two leather thongs. It is popular in 
Canada, but hardly elsewhere. If you 
buy one have its use carefully explained. 
The secret lies in the method of folding the pack to be 
attached to the thongs. 

The pack and tump-line are advocated by those 
who aver that pack-baskets balance a canoe badly 
and have other disadvantages, which I << Canadian 
for one do not admit. Mr. B. H. Mills, an Pacl?" 
admirer of the pack, thus describes it in Recreation: 

This is made with a pack-cloth 
six by seven feet in size .... 
To make the pack, lay your 
pack-cloth on the ground. Then 
stretch the two portions of the 
tump-line on the pack-cloth, the 
long way. each strap being about 
one foot from the edge, with a 
four-foot interval between them. 
The central portion of the strap, 
containing the head-band, lies on 
the ground at the head of the pack- 
cloth and beyond it. 

Each edge of the cloth is now 
folded over the straps. 

Next lay your duffle in as com- 
pact a pile as possible, soft things, 
such as tent and blankets, on 
top, the pile being near the end 
where the head-band is. Fold the loose end of the cloth 
over the pile, bringing the other end up to meet it. If 
the cloth is found to be too long, start over again, 

Fig. 17. — Harness with 

86 The Way of the Woods 

folding the end of the cloth up to the proper distance before 
laying the straps on. 

When the pack is folded, hold fast to the strap near the 
head-band, and pull on the loose end. The edge of the pack 
will shirr up. Tie a single running knot, and attach the 
other side in the same manner. Now bring your loose ends 
together in the middle of the pack, loop them, and pass 
them around the whole, tjdng a double knot — the only 
knot in the whole pack — a great advantage when one is 

Finally, adjust the strap to the head-band by means of the 
buckles, and your pack is ready to be carried. The he&d-band 
is passed over the top of the head, immediately back of the 
forehead, and the pack rests down on the hips. 

It sounds hard, but it isn't, after you have tried it. 

'Telescopic cases of fibre for packing provisions and 
duffle by railway are convenient though expensive 
Travelling ($8.00). Common trunks are generally 
Cases used. The cases are good to preserve kits 

in permanently. 

In the woods I have always found a war-bag and a 
pack-basket sufficient, helped out, if the trip was 
by water, by a wooden box or two, into the sides of 
which holes for the hands have been cut. 



Although the skiffs common in the Adirondacks 
are light and convenient craft and can be portaged 
with canoe-yokes, they are nevertheless heavier than 
canoes, are made of wood and thus tender and hard to 
repair, and they are propelled with oars, which are 
very awkward in rapids or among rocks. The proper 
pattern of canoe is the open, or Canadian, copied from 
the primitive craft of the Indians, since it is lightest, 
toughest, and will carry more than any other style. 
The Rob-Roy one-man style (both ends covered, 
the paddler sitting in a cockpit in the middle), pro- 
pelled by a double-bladed paddle, is excellent for open 
streams, but far inferior to the Indian pattern for 
the woods, and especially among rapids. 

Canoes made by the Indians have always been, 
and still are, constructed of birch-bark over an ash 
and spruce frame, while the white man has reproduced 
the pattern but changed the materials, one style 
being of cedar or basswood planking over a hardwood 
frame, and the other sheathed with cedar over a 
frame and the whole covered with filled and painted 
canvas. Of these three styles the all-wood canoe may 
be dismissed at once, as it is far too frail to risk in 
rapid water, and too difficult to repair. Indians and 
backwoodsmen have hitherto preferred the birch- 


88 The Way of the Woods 

bark canoe, principally because they are most famil- 
iar with it and because of its cheapness. It is inferior, 
however, in nearly every way, to the canvas-covered 
cedar canoe, now the recognised craft of wilderness 
tourists. The latter is cheaper than the birch-bark, 
since it lasts much longer. Even when new the birch- 
bark is not so swift or easy to paddle as the canvas, 
owing to its rougher workmanship. It is easily 
lacerated and punctured, allowing the bark to become 
water-soaked, and the holes and lacerations must 
then be covered with strips of cotton dipped in melted 
resin. The result is that the birch becomes heavier 
and rougher every day of its life, while each new 
wound is an added weakness. Nor has it any seats. 
The canvas canoe is tougher, its lines are more grace- 
ful, and its wounds are more easily and permanently 
healed by the application of white lead and shellac, 
with a tiny strip of silk over or under a particularly 
bad cut. (See below, Repairs.) The predilection of 
certain otherwise excellent authorities for the bark 
canoe is inexplicable on any other ground than 
a lack of experience with the canvas. For those 
who know both there is no question whatever. 

According to my investigations, the canvas-covered 
cedar canoe is a product of the State of Maine, having 
been first made on the Penobscot River about 30 
years ago, the first covering probably having been 
put on over bark, for which cedar was soon after 
substituted as stronger and stiffer. E. H. Gerrish 
of Bangor is said to be the originator of the type. 
Among the most reputable makers at the present 
day are Rushton of Canton, N. Y. (beautiful and 
instructive catalogue) ; Gerrish Canoe Co. of Bangor, 
Me.; Old Town Canoe Co., Old Town, Me.; B. N. 

Canoes 89 

Morris, Veazie, Me.; Carleton Canoe Co., Old Town, 
Me.; J. R. Robertson, Auburndale, Mass.; Chestnut 
of Frederickton, N. B., and others. 

The canvas canoe has a frame of hardwood (oak, 
ash, cherry, elm), with white cedar ribs covered with a 
sheathing of the same material. This again is covered 
with cotton duck treated with some kind of filler, 
and is then painted and varnished. The gunwales are 
of spruce or cherry, and may be either solid or " split,** 
i.e, made of two parallel strips, enabling the canoe 
to be quickly and easily emptied of water. Brass 
"bang-irons" protect the ends, and two cane seats 
are provided, generally built in solidly, one at the 
extreme stem and the other a little farther from the 

The ideal cruising canoe will accommodate two 
men and a reasonable amount of duffle, say 300 to 
400 pounds. One 16 feet long and weigh- 
ing 65 to 75 pounds will do this with 
ease and safety. I have even used a 15-foot canoe on 
long tours and found it capacious enough, while its 
lightness (56 pounds) was a boon on portages. For 
short journeys, when little duffle is needed, a 14- 
foot craft will accommodate two men, but it is better 
to have a canoe that can be used for any kind of 
trip. On very long tours, especially when more than 
two men and an extra amount of duffle and provisions 
must be taken, 18- and 20-foot canoes are needed. 

The general shape of the bow of the average canvas 
canoe is a compromise between the ultra-high, curved 
bows of some of the Western Indian craft and the 
quite flat bow of the typical Micmac canoe, though 
more resembling the latter. A slight rise keeps the 

90 The Way of the Woods 

waves from coming too freely over the bow without 
offering too much freeboard to the wind. 

Canvas canoes are made in two, sometimes three, 
grades, according to the quality of the material 
used and the finish. First-grade is-foot 
canoes cost from $36.00 to $41 .00 ; second- 
grade, $28.00 to $33.00. First-grade 16-foot, $38.00 
to $46.00; second-grade, $30.00 to $40.00. The 
tendency of prices is to increase. 

For longer canoes one may reckon $1.50 per foot 
over the 16-foot prices, though this varies slightly. 
The catalogues of the best firms should be consulted. 
Prices are without paddles. From $.75 to $1.25 is 
charged for crating, according to size. 

Indians usually charge about one dollar per foot 
for a new canoe, though in some localities the price 
runs higher.* See that your craft is made with a 
good flat bottom; Indians are apt to make them too 
round. The bottom should be of one piece ; otherwise 
it is very vulnerable. 

The choice of a paddle is rather a personal matter, 
as people differ widely in their likes. The stem 
P ddi paddle of a pair should be about 6 inches 

longer than that used in the bow. For 
stern paddle. a tall person might prefer a length of 
5 feet 9 inches, or even 6 feet; 5 feet 6 inches to 5 
feet 9 inches is about normal, with the bow paddle 
shorter. Ladies and younger persons require shorter 

» Mr. White sajrs that a new bark canoe, with bottom of 
one piece, should cost from $6.00 to $8.00! Those prices 
must obtain very far in the West. In the East we know 
them not. 



paddles. Woodsmen have been accustomed to using 
paddles rather shorter than these, perhaps because 
they generally make them of heavy woods, ash or even 
oak, but they are now taking to the longer lengths, 
just as they are to the canvas canoe. The accepted 
rule is that the paddle should be as long as the 
paddler is tall. Paddlers who habitually kneel need 
shorter paddles than others. 

As to material, maple (or cherry) may be recom- 
mended to strong-armed persons; spruce to all others. 
The latter is not, as some think, a flimsy wood. I 
have personally used spruce paddles on long and 
rough trips, and have never known a good, selected 
one to break with ordinary wear, although, like any 
other, spruce will snap soon enough if you attempt 
to check a canoe among rapids by sticking the paddle 
between two rocks. In selecting a paddle get one 
that is not too slender just where the blade joins 
the handle, the weak spot. 

As to the shape, some like a narrow and some a 
broad blade. A happy meditim is the best. Narrow 
blades bring the balance in the proper place without 
adding weight. 

Paddles are apt to "fur" off at the edge with rough 
usage; trim the *'fur'* off neatly. If spruce, keep 
the paddle well shellacked, to prevent water-soaking. 
Copper tips save the blades on hard trips, but are 
for ever coming off. 

A hardwood keel is essential for every canoe going 
into rough water. Unless specially ordered makers 
do not furnish it. It should be about one 
half inch thick and 2§ inches wide at 
the centre, according to the size of the canoe, and 

92 The Way of the Woods 

tapering toward each end, where it is screwed under 
the brass bang-strips. The other screws, perhaps 
8 inches or a foot apart, are put in from the inside, 
set in white lead. Ash is a good wood. Such a keel, 
while it increases the weight by 2 to 4 pounds, 
strengthens the canoe greatly, and takes a large 
proportion of the hard knocks and scrapes that 
would otherwise fall upon the unprotected bottom. 
Give it a couple of coats of paint when finished. 

Some makers furnish their canoes inside with 3 or 5 
light parallel strips running the whole length of the 
bottom, to protect it from being scratched by sharp 
tools, hobnailed shoes, etc. 

Canoe chairs, cushions, etc, are more popular when 
giving your *'best girl" a canoe-ride than for 
use in the wilderness. A light wooden 
^"^^ "^ back-rest may be taken, but it should be 
solid so as to be used as a card-table in camp. One 
useful article which I strongly recommend is a 
good-sized carriage-sponge, the best kind of a bailer 
and cleaner. 

Guides commonly scorn anything in the line of 
carriers, except in the Adirondacks, where boats are 
Canoe-Car- used. For amateurs a good carrier is not 
tiers to be despised. The best is that used in 

the Adirondacks, the "neck-yoke," worked out by 
hand from a solid block of whitewood, fitting the 
shoulders and having arms the ends of which fit 
into grooves in the sides of the canoe. These grooves 
are generally made by screwing pieces of wood, 
specially cut, under the gunwales. The excellent 
fit of this yoke makes it possible to ease either 

Canoes 93 

shoulders or neck by a proper adjustment of the 
muscles. The ** neck-yoke'' may be had of J. H. 
Rushton, Canton, N. Y. 

Fig. 18.— Neck-Yoke Carrier 

Many other kinds of carriers are on the market, 
most of them furnished with cushions that rest on the 
shoulders, but all that I know are inferior to the 

The pneumatic canoe-carrier, fitting round the neck, 
has been much praised. It should have straps which 
are secured to the paddles 
(lying tied longitudinally to 
the thwarts) and a third strap 
to go over the centre thwart, 
to prevent slipping back. yig. ig.-Pneumatic 

The Micmac method of carry- Canoe- Yoke 

ing a canoe may be seen in the 

accompanying illustrations. The paddle-blades rest 
on the shoulders, a sweater or something soft 
being placed between. The paddle-blades are under 
the centre thwart (when canoe is reversed) and 
the ends over the next thwart behind. 

Upon disembarking at a camp-ground canoes 
should be placed on the bank upside down. Birch- 
barks should not be exposed to the sun. Care of 
as the resin will melt, weakening the Canoes 
seams. They may be left in the water if they ride 
easily and securely without chafing or bumping. 


The Way of the Woods 


but should be hauled out at night, or a rise in 
the stream or a storm may render you canoeless 
before morning, or at least with a badly chafed 

craft. Never leave 

p^U a canoe in such a 

till position that any 

strain on its middle 

is brought to bear, 

for example rest- 
ing on the ends 

with no support in 

the middle. Never 

drag a canoe, even 

over the smooth 

boards of a float, 

but lift it clear of 

the ground . When 

badly scratched up 

give it a couple 

of coats of paint. Fig. ai.-Carry- 
A very good paint ing; Micmac 
is the "Canoe En- Style 
amer* made by 

Edw. Smith & Co. for Mr. Rushton, costing $i.oo 

per can, enough for a coat; it comes in many tints. 

The "Standard Canoe Colours'* (J. W. Masury & 

Son) are also good. 

Fig. 20.— Position of 
Paddles for Carrying 

When a birch-bark leaks (its normal condition) 
it is first taken out and thoroughly dried. If pos- 
Repairsy sible this is done in the shade, but, since 
Birch- repairs are generally necessary at once 

barks during a cruise, it is usually done in the 

sun, care being taken not to overdo the thing. 



If a leak must be stopped immediately while under 
way, recourse must be had to torches of birch-bark, 
which are held close to the wound until the lips are 
sufficiently dry for the resin to stick. Care must of 
course be taken not to burn the bark. Meanwhile the 
resin- or pitch-kettle (which must always accompany 
a bark canoe) has been heating over a fire, and a 
small quantity of the melted stuff is poured over the 
cut and rubbed in with a rag on the end of a stick, 
after which a piece of cotton cloth, cut to the 
proper size and shape, is dipped in the resin, laid over 
the leak, and there plastered down with the swab. In 
case of very bad wounds it may be necessary to sew 
up the rent with split white-spruce roots, after which 
the seams are pitched and coated with cotton as 

When trips of any length with canvas canoes are 
planned it is well to take along a one-pound can of 
white lead, a small can of yellow shellac. Canvas 
and a piece of thin stuff, oiled silk for Canoes 
preference. If the paint gets scratched or knocked 
off so that the canvas shows, cover the place neatly 
with white lead, wait until it hardens, and then 
paint with the shellac. Do this whenever the 
canvas is exposed, as water may soak through and 
cause a leak, or at least increase the weight of the 
canoe. For a very small wound shellac alone is 
sufficient. When the canvas is actually perforated 
the place should be dried, any loose threads clipped 
off clean, and a small quantity of white lead rubbed 
into the cut so that it will spread over the cedar 
planking inside for a quarter of an inch all round, 
i.e. inside the canvas but outside the planking. A 

96 The Way of the Woods 

piece of silk or cotton, cut to fit the hole but a little 
larger, is then rubbed with white lead on both sides 
and worked neatly into the hole with the penknife, 
the lips of the cut then pressed down upon the silk, 
a little more white lead rubbed on, and, after hard- 
ening, the wound painted with shellac. In the case 
of minor cuts, especially when the planking has not 
been injured, the above will suffice, but if the hole is 
a big one the lips may have to be further closed with 
small tacks (copper best) , which are driven through the 
planking and there clinched. In such a case it may 
be necessary to cover the whole wound with an 
additional piece of silk, as in the case of a bark canoe. 
This does not improve the appearance of our craft, 
but we are in the forest and not figuring in a canoe 
parade in a suburban park. If the planking has been 
perforated or badly cracked a piece of hard wood 
may be whittled to shape and fixed over the wound 
on the inside of the canoe with tacks, or, better still, 
small screws, the ends of which, if they protrude, 
must be filed off. If a canoe gets badly torn up it 
should be repaired as well as may be on the spot, and 
then shipped to the maker, or to some experienced 
workman, for repairs, unless the owner think him- 
self competent to undertake such a job, which is a 
very difficult one for an amateur to do well. A bad 
smash can be mended with birch-bark, quite as well 
as if the canoe were a bark. 

A small roll of bicycle-tape will be found excellent 
for quick repairs. 

In default of any other material spruce gum, 
chewed soft, will stop a hole of small size. 

Before entering a canoe bring it broadside to the 

Canoes 97 

landing-place, and, carefully preserving your body 
balance, place one foot exactly in the 
middle of the craft. When you perceive 
that all is serene place the other foot beside it and 
sit or kneel down quickly but steadily. If you do 
not paddle there will probably be some one to hold 
the canoe while you get in. If you have a paddle, 
thrust it down to the bottom on the other side of the. 
canoe and to steady yourself; the paddle will 
prevent the canoe sidling off and causing a possible 
straddle on your part that might easily end in an 
ignominious ducking. When in a canoe learn to 
make all necessary movements without interfering 
with the balance. The slightest lurch to one side 
must be avoided; look backward as seldom as pos- 
sible and be careful how you do it. Two men should 
never change places without landing. Canoes are, 
for their build, wonderfully steady and long-suffering, 
but no man can tell just when the limit of their 
patience will be reached. When it is, over they go 
in a flash. Then hang on to your paddle. If you 
cruise about lakes and cannot swim, it is safer to have 
an inflated rubber cushion, provided with a life-line, 
with you; it will easily hold up two men if they keep 
cool. The late H. P. Wells, the great angling author- 
ity and charming writer, animadverts amusingly 
on the feminine character of the birch-bark canoe, 
and his remarks may apply as well to the canvas: 

With a boat, too, you can, ordinarily at least, find a dry 
spot on its bottom — ^perhaps even right it and climb in. 
But a birch, when it has once spilled its cargo, passes from the 
placid demureness of a cat into the friskiness of a kitten. 
Touch it, and it squirms and sidles off like a country-girl 
at a merry-making when some gallant tries to put his arm 


loo The Way of the Woods 

across the face or breast, while the lower pulls the 
blade through the water. The failure to execute the 
piston-like thrust of the upper hand is the besetting 
sin of beginners. 

The bow paddler's duty is simple, being merely 
to keep up a regular stroke and watch for hidden 
rocks and other obstructions, while that of the stern 
paddler is more difficult and complicated, for he it 
is who keeps the craft on a straight course or steers 
it in the chosen direction. When assisted by a bow 
paddle his task is easy, but when aloiie he must cor- 
rect the tendency of the canoe to turn constantly 
in one direction by a lateral and upward push of the 
blade against the water, applied just the moment 
before it is withdrawn for the next stroke. The 
knack of stern-paddling, like waltzing or riding the 
bicycle, can be learned only by experience, but it 
is not difficult. 

From the very first, learn to paddle as well on one 
side of the canoe as on the other (a rule that should 
be written in large capitals). It is a great rest to 
change sides, and many 's the time the slap on the 
water by one's mate, the signal for a shift-over, comes 
as a welcome relief to the tired muscles. 

It is in swift water that the work of the bow 
paddler becomes more important, for here he must 
In "White- keep his weather eye peeled and be ready 
Water" to fend off at the precise moment called 
for, neither too soon nor too late. In running rapids 
most bow paddlers are inclined to do too much, and 
thus, instead of helping the steerer, handicap his 
efforts. The ideal bow paddler holds himself on the 
alert, ready to obey the command of the steerer, 

i ii 

Canoes loi 

but does little until occasion demands. Then a deft 
but energetic movement of the paddle averts the 
impending danger. Running rapids is one of the 
most exhilarating, not to say thrilling, of pastimes, 
but it is dangerous to a degree and the wonder is 
that so few bad accidents happen. Last year, as 
bow paddle, I ran a nasty rapid with a first-class 
Indian canoeman in the stern. In the midst of it, 
while we were seething down the white waters at a 
record pace, he had the misfortune, while trying 
to throw the bow a little to the left, to get his paddle 
caught between two stones in such a manner that 
it was either break or let go, and, as it was his 
favourite paddle, he chose the latter alternative, 
wisely or not. Just as he sang out to me abcJVe the 
roar of the rapid, **Look out, I We lost my paddle! " 
the very same accident happened to me. My paddle 
was whipped out of my hand before I could make up 
my mind whether or not to let go, and the next mo- 
ment a helpless and frail canoe with two men, pro- 
visions, and duffle went shooting down the last half 
of one of the most precipitate and rocky rapids 
in Canada. I had an* indistinct consciousness of 
sticking out one foot over the gunwale and shooting 
my heel with all my might at one particularly danger- 
ous, jagged point as we tore by, and the next moment 
we sat high and dry on a flat rock at the foot of the 
rapid. Talk of ice-yachting and motoring — ^they 
are nothing to shooting rapids without paddles! You 
yell with excitement and exhilaration, but your hair 
stands on end at the same time. Of course the inci- 
dent described was very exceptional, and we had 
all the luck in getting off with only one bad rent in 
the bottom of our craft. 

I02 The Way of the Woods 

On long trips, when many rapids must be run, a 
"setting-pole** is used. This is a stout sapling 
. about lo feet long, into one end of which 

a tapering spike, made for the purpose, 
is driven and confined by an iron ring. This spike 
should not protrude too far (not over 3 inches), or 
it will cause the pole to get caught between rocks 
as our paddles did in the above story. The spike 
and ring are taken as part of the kit and the pole 
cut when needed. An iron shoe with nail-holes is 
quite unnecessary. A setting-pole is absolutely 
essential in getting up-stream when the water is 
heavy and swift. Beginners are recommended not 
to attempt its use except under the eye of an old 
hand. There is a knack in handling it, though at first 
it seems the most unwieldy implement imaginable. 

If caught out in a lake in a storm kneel down and 
be especially careful to make clean strokes; catching 
On a Rough a crab in a canoe is apt to lead to instant 
Lake disaster, particularly in a heavy sea. Be 

careful not to get the canoe in the trough of the waves, 
especially if she is at all top-heavy. If the wind is dead 
ahead or dead aft the danger is lessened. The stern 
paddler must watch the combers like a cat and be ready 
to turn the bow into the big ones. At such a time (and 
theoretically always in a canoe) one paddle or the other 
should be in the water constantly. The majority 
of u sets occur when this rule is neglected and some 
sudden movement of one or both men cannot be 
offset by the steadying paddle. 

In a gale keep as much as possible under lee of 
islands and points. Better still, don't start out at all 
in such weather. 

Canoes 103 

If the trip is made through country abounding in 
lakes much hard paddling can be saved by rigging 
some kind of a sail in the bow. This may 
be simply a thick bush, or a tarpaulin or 
poncho or tent-fly rigged on a pole and paddle. 
A long experience in the lake district of southern 
Nova Scotia has taught me that the most practical 
sail is simply a big and strong lunbrella of the kind 
used in escorting ladies from the carriage to the house. 
It fits into the rod-case and does yeoman service on 
the lake. I have saved scores of miles' paddling with 
one. An old vmibrella may be taken along and 
abandoned when the last big lake has been crossed. 

Of course a sail is of service only when the wind is 
quite or nearly dead aft. Centre-boards are imprac- 
ticable on the rocky lakes of the north woods. 

Canoes are loaded with two objects in view/proper 
trim and the security of the duffle. See that no box 
or bundle chafes the sides, nor slides from 
side to side. Get the load, and particularly ^* ^ 
the heavy stuff, as low in the canoe as possible, to 
avoid top-heaviness. Have the receptacles contain- 
ing provender and cooking utensils where they can be 
got at easily at lunch time. Do not pack anything 
that should be kept dry on the very bottom of the 
canoe, especially if it rains, or on a rough lake or in 
bad rapids. Be sure to leave room for the two pad- 
dlers* feet and legs. When loaded the canoe should 
float on an even keel, neither end being higher than 
the other. In rapid water, however, the bow should 
be a trifle higher than the stern when going up-stream, 
and the stern a trifle higher when going down- 
stream. Perhaps it would be more exact to say that 

I04 The Way of the Woods 

the heavier end should be always the down-stream 
end, whichever direction the canoe is going. This 
makes steering easier. 

Whether the duffle should be firmly attached to the 
canoe is a question that may be answered with yes 
if the canoe will float when upset. If not, then it 
makes little difference in deep water, except that 
some of the duffle might float if not tied on. In 
swift, shallow water it is well to secure the important 
articles, especially the heavy ones, such as the rifle, 
camera, etc., as an upset might result in the loss 
of material absolutely essential to comfort if not 
life. Such experiences as that of Dillon Wallace in 
Labrador should be taken to heart. (The Long 
Labrador Trail,) 

On long trips a stout tracking-line, about a dozen 

or more feet long, should be attached to the bow. 

It will be found very useful in getting up 

and down dangerous rapids, and in 

anchoring for fishing purposes. 

(The above chapter on canoeing has been read and very 
kindly approved by Mr. J. H. Rushton, who disagrees with 
me on one point only, the toughness of the all-wood canoe. 
Mr. Rushton, certainly an excellent authority, has made the 
'*Nessmuk" and other wooden canoes for many years, and 
has a high opinion of their strength and general usefulness, 
even in swift waters, an opinion which I do not share, so far 
as the waters of the north woods, with which I am most 
familiar, are concerned.) 



About no subject connected with camping-out is 
there so much opportunity for honest difference of 
opinion as this, since the personal equation neces- 
sarily enters into it to a large degree. 

Provisions may be divided into two categories: 
staples and legitimate luxuries. By the latter term 
are meant articles of food and drink which may, at 
one time or another, be admitted to the camping 
larder without laying the consumer open to the charge 
of being an abject slave to his belly. 

It is likely that a conclave of experienced amateur 
woodsmen would name the following commodities 
among the staples: 

The Staples 

Flour or Bread 
















Of luxuries there is a wider choice ; 


io6 The Way of the Woods 

The Luxuries 










Vegetables, fresh and dried. 

S^lit peas 



Canned meats 







Cured fish 

Citric Acid 





Additional Luxuries 

Other canned goods Sweet oil 

Other condiments Wines 

Lime drops 

The proportion of staples to luxuries must depend 
upon the character of the proposed expedition. If 
it is a hard one, where going light is the chief 
essential, every luxury will be severely scrutinised 
before admission to the pack, and even some of 
the staples are likely to be omitted: for instance, 
from the above list, either the coffee or the tea, 
bacon, corn-meal, and possibly milk and butter. 
On easier trips it is all a matter of transportation, 
of personal taste, and the amount of physical ex- 
ertion the members of the party intend to undergo ; 
for hard work tends to increase the amount consumed, 
while making the camper less fastidious; in other 
words, he will be more contented with plain fare. 
In a country where game and fish can be counted 
on to enrich the menu luxuries are not so much 

Provisions 107 

missed; while on the other hand there are luxuries 
which, for many people, are almost necessities, a 
certain quantity of which they will prefer to take 
with them in place of an equal amount of some recog- 
nised staple. In my own case, for example, rice, beans, 
dried apples or apricots, and eating chocolate invaria- 
bly form part of the provender, and rather than leave 
these behind I will sacrifice bacon and meal. This is 
entirely a personal question and should be Choice of 
threshed out by the members of the ex- Provisions 
pedition. The best way is for each. camper to pur- 
chase out of his own pocket and bring along any 
special luxury that is not sure of an enthusiastic 
reception by the others; and then discussion at the 
point of departure will determine whether the size of 
the baggage will allow of its being admitted, either 
wholly or in part. The task of collecting the necessary 
provisions is best left to one man, the most ex- 
perienced camper. 

Flour should be taken in a stout bag. If you are 
acquainted with a really satisfactory self- Remarks 
raising flour, take it; otherwise baking- on Staples 
powder (in the original tin boxes) must be taken. 

Bread. Fresh-baked loaves are often preferred 
to flour, being ready to eat> and thus saving time. 
They are bulky and thus not adapted to hard trips. 
One usually takes along a few, to last for a couple 
of days. 

Cornmeal (Indian-meal), the original American 
flour, is a favourite with woodsmen; in fact many 
prefer it to white flour in case only one is taken. It 
has the advantage of being more easily cooked, as 
Johnny-cake can be made in the frying-pan, and 

io8 The Way of the Woods 

cakes baked on stones. It is delicious as mush and 
still more so when fried cold and eaten with syrup 
or molasses. It is also the proper thing to roll fish in 
before frying, and may be mixed with the white flour 
for bread. 

Pork of good quality can almost always be found 
in the country, but this is less often true of 

Bacon, on which account it may be as well to pur- 
chase your supply in the city. Except on very 
easy trips bacon should not be taken in tins, and 
never in glass. Take it in the flitch. 

Butter, in quantities of five to fifteen pounds, is best 
taken in tin pails or wooden buckets, with tight- 
fitting covers that will not come off when sunk in the 
stream, where they should be kept as much as pos- 
sible in warm weather. For the woods butter should 
be more or less salted. 

Lard is best carried in a small wooden bucket on a 
long trip, though if overland it may be kept in two 
thicknesses of strong brown paper and secluded from 
too much heat. Not much need be taken as it is 
used almost exclusively for )Dread-making. 

Tea is the staple beverage of the wilderness, and 
if there is any question of taking but one, choose tea, 
for it is ifiore quickly and easily made, does not de- 
teriorate like ground coffee, and, finally, the guides, 
almost without exception, like it best. In most cases 
both tea and coffee can be carried. Keep in a separate 

Coffee should be ground as short a time as pos- 
sible before starting out, and is kept in a separate 
bag or wooden pail, the bag fitting better in the 
basket. On long trips carry in tins. 

The quality of both tea and coffee should be high, 

Provisions 109 

as it takes more to make a pot in the woods than 
indoors. Most people prefer black tea, but tastes 
strangely differ. So well-known a woodsman as old 
Nessmuk preferred green tea and boiled it for five 

Cream and Milk, The best substitute for these 
is Borden's "Peerless Evaporated Milk,", an un- 
sweetened liquid quite devoid of the disagreeable 
taste associated with condensed milk. It comes in 
$.10 cans, one of which will be sufficient for four 
persons for two days if used moderately. Half-sized 
cans can also be had, convenient for short side trips. 
It is used by making two small holes in the top, 
which can be plugged or stopped by the thickening 
of the liquid if the can is held for a moment or two 
upside down with the thtmibs over the holes. ** Peer- 
less" milk will keep for any length of time and can 
be used very economically. There is also an " Eagle * * 
brand of condensed milk which is sweetened, and 
therefore less appetising to many people. The un- 
sweetened milk has practically all the qualities 
of cream. "Truecream" and **Truemilk" (Aber- 
crombie & Fitch) come in soluble powder form, and 
are therefore easy to transport. One uses four table- 
spoonfuls to a pint of water. It is rather expensive, 
costing $3 .00 for a five-pound can. The ** St. Chg-rles '* 
brand of evaporated milk (unsweetened) is similiar to 
the "Peerless," but inferior. ($.10 per can). 

All these substitutes for milk must be taken from 
home, as they are not to be had in frontier towns. 

Malted milk makes an excellent forest drink. » 
Borden's is the most suitable, being most soluble. 
If taken it is better to transfer it from the bottle to 
a tin box well lined with clean paper. 

no The Way of the ^Woods 

Sugar. This is carried in its own bag. The prin- 
cipal substitutes for sugar are saccharine and crys- 
talose. Crystalose comes in one-ounce vials, the 
contents being claimed to equal in sweetening power 
a ton of sugar. On very light-going trips these drugs 
have their place, but their taste is disliked by many. 

Salt. This should be taken from home, as that 
obtainable in out-of-the-way places is of poor quality 
and has an annoying tendency to cake in moist 

Pepper. This may be either white or black. Per- 
sonally I use only Hungarian paprika (accent on 
the first syllable), which is tasty, wholesome, and 
promotes digestion. It must not be confounded 
with the hot cayenne, being very much milder. 

Soap. Sapolio is the first and last choice for camp 

Candles. A supply of ordinary paraffine candles 
is usually taken to be used in rustic candlesticks 
(see Rustic Utensils). If a folding " Stonebridge * * 
lantern is carried special pressed candles had best be 
brought for it (see Lantern). 

Matches. Only the good old friction match, the 
lucifer or "hell-stick** of our youth, will be found on 
the outskirts of the wilderness, and a good supply 
of these should be taken along in a tin can with a 
tight-fitting top, if possible a screw-top. There is 
a very good waterproof tubular match-safe on the 
market in the shape of two brass telescopic cylinders 
which fit together and hold about 500 wooden matches. 
It weighs about half a pound and costs $.75. For 
pocket match-boxes see under Personal Outfit. 

Most tours in the wilderness are undertaken by 

Provisions iii 

means of some kind of land or water conveyance, 
and therefore the above strictly light- Remarks on 
going list may be amplified by the addi- Luxuries 
tion of many commodities which may to all intents 
and purposes be considered as staples. 

Rye-meal may be taken as a variety. The same 
may be said of oatmeal, or crushed oats, though it is 
now conceded that cereals are by no means so nu- 
tritive as once believed. 

Buckwheat-flour y only of the self-raising variety, 
makes the best of flapjacks, and, eaten with syrup 
or molasses, satisfies the marked craving for sweets 
which nearly all campers have. 

Rice is now recognised as an extremely nutritive 
food, and may be used in the woods either as a 
vegetable or (when left over cold) mixed with 
flapjack batter. 

Beans are another luxury that may almost be 
called a staple, while in a permanent camp they are a 
prime necessity. A good quality of the white bean 
apotheosised in Massachusetts should be chosen. 
Army men and Itimbermen fully appreciate the 
value of the bean; in fact the classic dish, pork and 
beans, may be considered the most popular of the 
regular woods bill of fare, the beans forming, of 
course, the more important part of the dish. For 
"staying by** a man pork and beans have few equals 
and perhaps no superiors. In permanent camps 
beans are always cooked on the spot, but when trans- 
portation is fairly easy and time must be saved canned 
baked beans are very convenient. I have found 
a Canadian brand, without ketchup, the most tooth- 
some. A supply of 

Split Peas, to thicken soups and to be used as 

1 1 2 The Way of the Woods 

a vegetable, is recommended, for they are very 

Erbswurst (peameal-sausage) , a concentrated pea- 
meal with bacon, used for making soup, is much in 
vogue just now in this country. Although good and 
nutritious it is very expensive, taking its bulk into 
consideration, and, except its convenient form, has 
few advantages over split peas. (Price $.17 the 
half-pound roll.) 

Chocolate is now regarded as a very high-class 
food on account of its nutritive qualities. It is 
expensive and should not be a part of the daily 
ration, but kept for emergency uses. A half cake 
will keep a man's strength up for a day without any 
other food. I never strike off from camp by myself 
without a piece of chocolate in my pocket. Do 
not, however, have anything to do with the mawkishly 
sweet chocolates of the candy-shops or the imported 
milk chocolates, which are not suited for the purpose. 
We have something far better here in America in 
^ Walter Baker & Co.'s **Dot*' brand, which is slightly 
sweetened. It comes in half-pound cakes. It is 
not so popular commercially as the sweeter kinds 
and cannot therefore always be found at your 
gtocer*s, but can be obtained from the firm. 

Cocoa is an out-and-out luxury, but may be included 
on a canoe trip to vary the bill of fare, or in case 
some member of the party drinks no stimulants at 
night. I like Baker's better than any foreign brand, 
and am assured by scientific friends that it is pure. 

Lemons come very near to being a staple, especially 
in summer, when they are delicious and wholesome. 
On a long, hard tramp, when thirst tortures, a suck 
at a lemon kept in the pocket will help more than a 

Provisions 113 

pint of water, which would fill up the stomach and 
badly handicap the tramper. 

Limes are as good as lemons or better, since, bulk 
for bulk, they go farther. 

Cheese varies the menu and makes fine sandwiches, 
but is not an important item. 

Ham is excellent in a permanent camp or on a 
very easy trip. 

Smoked and Salted Fish includes herring, smoked 
and canned salmon, sprats and sardines, and shredded 
codfish. All are good, though the canned stuff is 
admissible only to easy trips. The smoked sprats 
are particulariy good. Shredded codfish is light and 
makes excellent fishballs. 

Soup Tablets, Capsules ^ etc,, would be included in the 
staples by many on account of their convenient 
form. There are many varieties, among them 
Armour's, Knorr*s, Anker's, Maggi's, and Raffauf's, 
some being for soups and some for bouillon. Dried 
Julienne, for soups, stews, etc., is toothsome, though 
really an unnecessary luxury. All these things should 
be kept in tin boxes: 

Sausage. Large sausages of the Bologna pattern 
are excellent, but get the imported German Cervelat- 
wurst if you can, as it is better and more nutritive 
though costlier. Leherwurst is too soft. 

Pemmican, a chief staple of Arctic travellers, will 
not be needed unless a tour into very distant and 
inhospitable regions is projected. It used to be 
compounded of powdered buffalo meat, fat, and 
marrow, but is now made of dried and powdered beef 
mixed with suet, with a little sugar and a few raisins 
for flavour. It may be had of dealers at $2.00 the 
two-pound can. I can live without it beautifully! 

114 The Way of the Woods 

Jerked Meat, especially that of moose or deer, 
is far better. It can hardly ever be bought in cities. 
(See Cookery.) 

Canned Meats are quite permissible on fairly 
easy trips. Corned beef, tongue, and dried beef 
are the favourites. They are all heavy, of course, 
and as little as possible should be taken, though in 
summer, when no fresh meat is obtainable for the 
squeamish in camp, canned meat offers a pleasing 
variety. The old woodsman varies his fare with frogs, 
porcupines, coons, young crows and owls, and other 
woodland delicacies. (See Cookery.) 

Eggs are delicious in camp, and on easy trips a 
box or basket filled with fresh ones packed in meal 
may be taken. Several varieties of dried eggs are 
on the market, which are said to be fit for cooking. 

Vegetables. Fresh vegetables, especially potatoes 
and onions, are generally taken. I leave the potatoes 
behind whenever I can persuade my companions 
to join me in renunciation, for they are sickeningly 
heavy and therefore unsuited to long, hard trips, 
while on short ones they are not worth transporting. 
In permanent camps they are welcome and in place. 
Evaporated potatoes can now be had that taste very 
good. They come sliced at $.25 the package. They 
do very well for the woods, especially in stews. 
Knorr*s dried onions are also excellent; they cost 
$.20 the package. The same firm sells a variety 
of other dried vegetables. 

Molasses is heavy, but oh, so good in the woods! 
A stone jug is the proper receptacle. On hard 
overland trips the retired whiskey-bottle is gen- 
erally used, but must be carefully wrapped up to 
avoid breaking. Better is a tin can with screw-top. 

Provisions 115 

Syrup is an effete luxury compared with molasses, 
and is scorned except on the easiest of trips, when 
both may be taken. 

Preserves of all kinds never taste so good as in the 
woods, and, though pure luxuries, are most whole- 
some. In a permanent camp the more the merrier, 
while a few cans of marmalade or a small supply 
of jams or preserves may be taken on easy trips, 
always in tins if possible. 

Dried (evaporated) Fruits are much more important 
than preserves, on account of their convenient form 
and wholesome nature. I regard them as a staple 
and never go into the woods, even on an 'overland 
tramp of more than a few days* duration, without a 
supply of either dried apples, peaches, or apricots, pre- 
ferably the first. In country districts they are not 
always to be had, and can be got in a better quality 
of some good grocer. Prunes are good to have also 
in some quantity, as well as a few seeded raisins for 
puddings, buns, etc. 

Citric Acid, A small quantity of this should be 
taken for lemonade in case no lemons or limes are 
in the larder. 

Tobacco is to many people both a staple and a 
luxury, and the great majority of woodsmen have the 
profoundest pity for the non-smoker. What? No 
pipe when sitting round the camp-fire as the forest 
shades deepen into blackness? No, no, the thought 
is really too harrowing. The best way to take 
tobacco is in the plug or the larger " hand,** though on 
easy trips it may be carried, sliced, in tins. A rubber 
pocket pouch contains the daily supply. Cigars are 
an effete luxury. If they are taken they should be 
carried in a strong but light box, which, as it is 

1 16 The Way of the Woods 

depleted, is kept full by adding moss. The cigars 
should be rolled firmly together in foil to prevent 
chafing and breaking. Cigarette fiends should reform 
in the woods; it is the opportunity of their lives. 
Of wind-matches or fuzees I have spoken before. 
Without them it is a heart-breaking and sometimes 
impossible task to light a pipe in a fresh breeze 
or a rainstorm, just when you are apt to want it 
most. They are also most convenient for lighting 
fires on wet days. 

Liquors. The question of liquor is a delicate one 
and essentially personal. There are many things 
to be said against it, chief among which is the fact 
that it is heavy and awkward to carry. The sports- 
man, especially if he is a business man escaped from his 
office, ought to allow nature a fair chance to brace 
him up for the coming months of toil and artificial 
city life. Unquestionably it is best for such a man, 
and probably for all others, to leave rum and whiskey 
at home. If you are not an habitual drinker you 
certainly do not want it, while, if you are, a period of 
abstinence is the very best thing for you. Trust 
outdoor life to supply all the tonic you need. Never- 
theless, though the above is a good rule for every- 
day life in the woods, it is not wise to tarry there 
totally without liquor. A small quantity of really 
good whiskey or brandy may prove a godsend in case 
of accident, illness, or severe chill. Liquor is like 
dynamite: properly handled it is a boon; abused a 
terrible curse. Upon one thing you may depend : as 
an aid to endurance it is a complete failure, as its 
effect is always of short duration, and is followed 
by a reaction that adds twenty pounds to a man's 
pack. For warming-up purposes Jamaica Ginger 

Provisions 117 

is quite as good. In favour of liquor are two argu- 
ments. Firstly nearly all guides like a wee nippy on 
occasion, and, secondly, there are times when the 
sportsmen like it just as well, and it certainly does 
add wonderfully to the festivity of certain occasions, 
like the fall of the big moose or the gaffing of the 

Liquor should never be carried in aluminum 
vessels, as alcohol attacks this metal. 

Condiments of various kinds may be taken along, 
as they are light and only small quantities are neces- 
sary. The heavy ones are tomato-catsup, the back- 
woods favourite, which must be carried in bottles, 
and pickles of all kinds, which are good for permanent 
camps or the easiest journeys only, and the like 
may be said of liquid sauces. The best condiments 
for camping are in powder form, as mustard, paprika, 
curry, cayenne, ginger, etc. Of these paprika and 
mustard are the most wholesome. Among condiments 
I reckon garlic, without a pod of which I seldom go 
camping. Discretely used it is a wonderful aid to 
the cook. A few common country pickles may be 
taken if nothing else that is sour is in the larder. On 
easy trips a can of vinegar is almost necessary. A 
tiny quantity of allspice may be taken for the swell 
cook when he wants to spread himself on some fes- 
tive occasion. 

The permanent camp is the proper place for such 
things as wines, sweet oil, confectionery, canned 
vegetables, etc. The best kinds of confectionery for 
the camp are candied ginger and lime-drops, though 
here tastes differ. 

Books on camping usually contain check-lists of 
rations and stores for parties of different sizes. My 


The Way of the Woods 

belief, founded on experience, is that nobody ever 
consults them, persons and conditions varying too 
greatly. Nevertheless, as a general guide, I add here 
the minimum quantity of the staples for a party 
of four on a two weeks* trip in canoes. 

Flour (including ryemeal, buckwheat, commeal, 

etc., no bread being taken) . . . -30 lbs. 



10 lbs. 

Pork, bacon, ham 

20 lbs. 

Lard . 

5 lbs. 



10 lbs. 



2 lbs. 



3 lbs. 



8 lbs. 

Evaporated milk 

10 cans. 

Butter . 

10 lbs. 

Dried fruit 

5 lbs. 

Potatoes, fresh 


This is 

for an eas 

y trip 

, som 

B fish 

or game being secured 

in the woods. Luxuries may be added. 



On trips of only two or three days' duration, or 
when everything must be carried overland on the 
campers* backs, the kit must be a very simple one, 
consisting of (for a party of two or three) a frying- 
pan, two retinned or alviminum pails that nest 
together, small salt and pepper shakers, and for 
each person a tin cup, knife, fork, and spoon, with 
perhaps a large spoon for cooking. This last article 
may be replaced by a wooden stirrer or ladle cut in 
the woods, while the hunting-knife may do for all 
purposes, this saving the case-knives. Those who 
are capable of making hard overland trips without 
conveyances may be expected to go very light indeed, 
and still more may this be taken for granted in the 
case of a single camper, who should get along with a 
small-sized frying-pan, one pail, salt-shaker, tin 
cup and fork, all of which may be slung on his pack, 
which consists of his blanket or sleeping-bag and 
contents with a tent-fly or large poncho. All extra 
clothing and provisions except pork are in the pack. 
The hatchet and cup are slung on the belt, the pork 
is in the pail, and rifle and fish-rod are carried in 
the hand. I do not much like the so-called one-man 


I20 The Way of the Woods 

kits, of which the best is perhaps the U. S. Army 
mess-kit. The Preston kit is more elaborate and 
much more costly ($6.00). It is of alviminum except 
for a quite unnecessary canteen. This may be- left 
at home, the space being filled with food. The 
spoon is aluminum and therefore to be condemned. 
It is however a strong, light, and compact kit. Can- 
teens are not needed in the north woods, where water 
is to be found everjrwhere. 

For ordinary trips excellent nesting kits of altuni- 
num (really an aluminum alloy) can be had of the 
dealers. The **A. and F.'* is made for 2, 3, 4, 6, 
and 8 persons. That for four costs $16.60, including 
canvas carrying-bag, and weighs 8 J pounds. It 
consists of three pails (in woods parlance kettles), 
two frying-pans, coffee-pot, cups, soup-bowls, knives, 
forks, tea-spoons, and dessert-spoons. The larger 
kits contain another pail and more smaller articles. 
I have given this kit some long and hard trials and 
found it pretty near perfection. My chief fear was 
that it would prove tender, but it is actually tougher 
than tin or iron, very much lighter, and far easier to 
clean. I would not now have aiiy other, in spite of 
its cost. I have a few minor personal objections to 
it, one being the soup-bowls, the use of which I 
cannot see and therefore leave them at home. The 
other objection is the use of altmiiniun for spoons and 
cups, for they are simply infernal when food and 
drink are hot, and I have burnt my mouth with them 
far too often. But there is a way out of the difficulty. 
There is also a kit similar in character to the aluminum, 
but of retinned steel, so that when ordering the alumi- 
num kit you may stipulate for the including of tin cups 
and spoons. The retinned set, which I have also used 

Cookery 121 

in times past, is a good one and costs for four persons 
$5.75. If you can afford the initial outlay the alumi- 
num kit will prove economical in the long run. The 
"Moosehead" aluminum kit is somewhat similar 
to the "A. & F.," but rather heavier and somewhat 
more expensive. Neither kit contains the following 
articles necessary for long trips: salt and pepper 
shakers, sugar-box, broiler, cooking-spoon. 

An excellent feature of these kits is the patent 
hollow handle of the trying-pans, into which a three- 
or four-foot stick is thrust, enabling the cook to fry 
without scorching himself. Whoever has broiled 
himself along with the fish or pork over a hot coal 

Fig. 23. — Frying-pan and Detachable Handle 

fire will appreciate this immunity. It is all very well 
to say that a short handle is quite as good providing 
a proper cooking fire is made; but such a fire cannot 
always be provided and even then it is often too hot 
for comfort. Besides the tubular handles may be 
used as short as desired, and they have the great 
advantage of being detachable, so that there is no 
long iron handle sticking out when you want to 
pack the pan. 

Another good cooking-kit that I have used with 
satisfaction is the Wilson "Kamp Kook's Kit,*' 
which is very elaborate so far as the number of pieces 
goes and very strong, though heavy, weighing twenty 
pounds. It costs, with twenty-one cooking pieces 
and fifty- four pieces of tableware (for six persons), 

122 The Way of the Woods 

$i6. The coffee-pot, having a solid-lip spout and 
holding three quarts, is a particularly fine article. 

Of course a good camp-kit may be got together 
without recourse to the dealers, though in the end it 
is apt to weigh more and be less compact than those 
just mentioned. The first step towards the collection 
of a kit is a visit to the alumintmi counter of a depart- 
ment store, where good plates, forks, pans, broiler, 
and coffee-pot may be found. The frying-pan will not 
have the patent handle, but a stick may be wired on 
in the woods, or the whole patent pan may be bought. 
A supply of strong wire should always be taken into 
the woods on long trips for such emergencies as 
these. The sides of a good frying-pan should be 
nearly perpendicular (not flaring), so that the bottom 
shall be as large as possible. The pails should be of 
different sizes so that they will nest together. Always 
get the best of block-tin. The salt and pepper 
shakers should be of alimiinum or the best tin, as 
anything else will rust, and the holes should be extra 
large, as even the best salt tends to cake in the woods. 
The broiler should be a stout one with flanges on 
the sides to prevent the food slipping into the fire. 
Most broilers do not have this excellent feature. 
The broiler may be carried in the case with the 
folding baker (see below). A chain pot-cleaner is a 
comfort in a permanent camp. Good, generous- 
sized tin cups should be bought. I like mine with 
broad flat bottoms and handles not cut through at 
the bottom, so that they may be slung on the belt 
if desired. The handles should be rivetted on. For 
nesting, however, they should slope gently to the 
bottom and have cut-through handles. 

The folding baker is carried flat in a canvas case 



together with its pan and kneading-board, and, if made 
of aluminum, weighs only 4 J pounds in the largest size 
($4.50 with case) and 2^ pounds in the smaller ($4.00). 
The latter bakes a dozen biscuits at a time, so that 
two batches are sufficient for four persons. The 
baker is really a heat-reflector, being open to the 
coals on one side, the heat having access above and 
below the pan. No better apparatus for baking 
biscuits exists, and game or anything else can be done 
in it excellently. Its light weight and flat form make 
it easy to pack. 

Fig. 24.— Folding Baker 

On fishing trips a Marble fish-cleaning knife is 
worth taking. A rotary can-opener, which is inserted 
in the middle of the can*s top and cuts round the edge, 
is a necessity if canned goods are taken at all. 

The catalogues of the sporting goods dealers are 
full of all manner of conveniences for camping, such 
as meat-safes, grates, hot-water dishes, wall-pockets, 
but I should not wish to go on record as recommending 
them as necessities, though no doubt they would 
all come in handy in a permanent camp. There is no 
harm in trying them ; it *s part of the fun. 

There should be no soldering about any utensil 


124 The Way of the Woods 

likely to come in contact with a camp-fire, or the 
soldered parts will melt off ** as sure as shootin*." 
Rivets are the solution. 


While the fire is being started and the utensils 
unpacked the cook will be deciding the great ques- 
tion of the bill of fare. He fills at least two kettles 
with the purest water to be had (a spring is likely 
to be near), and then cuts two stout poles from four 
to six feet long and sharpens the stouter ends. One 
of these is driven obliquely into the ground, the 
bail of a kettle is hung across a nick in the 
upper end, which is then pressed down so 
that the kettle will be poised over the right 
part of the fire. If the soil is too loose 
to hold the pole, rocks may be used to 
hold down the big end or prop up the 
other to the required angle. The tea- or 
coffee-pot and frying-pan are placed near 
the fire to warm up, whatever is to be 
boiled is put into the pot as soon as the 
water is at the proper temperature, and the 
food to be fried or broiled is then prepared 
for cooking. A fire-hook or hanger, to 
handle hot kettles, is also cut. Every 
Fig. 25.— lumber camp has a cookee, or cook's assist- 
Fite-hook ant, and the office (which may be held by 
the members of the party in rotation) 
is not a bad one in a sporting camp. The cookee 
makes the fire, cuts the pole-cranes, draws the 
water, and "lays the table," i.e,, unpacks the 
kit; and makes himself generally useful, while the 

Cookery 125 

cook confines his attention to purely culinary opera- 
tions. If potatoes are to be sliced or fish dressed the 
cookee helps. The result of this arrangement is 
quickly and easily served meals. 

By the time the hardwood fire has burned itself 
down to smokeless, glowing coals frying and broiling 
may begin. Most writers tell us that it is 
bad woods-form to cook over the camp ^%i^^ 
fire, and that a small extra fire should 
be made at one side for this purpose. Nessmuk 
may serve as the spokesman of these gentlemen, 
with whom I am not wholly in agreement. His 
directions for making a forest range are as follows: 

Two logs, six feet long and eight inches wide, are laid 
parallel but seven inches apart at one end and only four at 
the other. They are bedded firmly and flattened a little on 
the inside. On the upper side the logs are carefully hewed 
and levelled until pots, pans, and kettles will sit firmly and 
evenly on them. A strong forked stake is driven at each 
end of the space, and a cross-pole, two or three inches thick, 
laid on, for hanging kettles. (Woodcraft). 

Now if you have plenty of time, say in a permanent 
camp, there is no objection to building such a range, 
but I respectfully submit that it is quite out of place 
otherwise and is totally unnecessary, for the ordinary 
fire, if built right and with the proper woods, is 
just as good and better for boiling and broiling, es- 
pecially if you have the correct implements, as 
described above, and very much better for baking 
(see Making Camp), The cook does not allow the 
pan to rest on the fire, for frying is an operation that 
needs one's whole attention. The logs would keep the 
coals from the baker, which must be placed before 


The Way of the Woods 

an open fire. Broiling is done best by propping up 
the broiler before the coals by means of short forked 

A very good cooking-range, is made of two short 
logs of the Nessmuk kind, but diverging so that their 
ends are about six inches apart on one side and two 
feet on the other. At the wider opening large stones 

Fig. 26, — Modified Nessmuk Range 

are placed next the log ends, two or three on each 
side, graded in size towards the front. Across these 
poles of hardwood are laid. On this side of the fire- 
place the baker is set, while the frying and broiling 
may be done between the logs, in the Nessmuk 
fashion. (See sketch on this page.) 

In the choice of fare the cook is governed by the 
extent of his larder and the time at his command. 
Choice of If the famished cry of * * Hurry up there cook ! 
Dishes I *m as hungry as a bear!" arises, summary 

measures are in order and the meal must be plain; 
but if the cook and cookee have an hour or more at 
their disposal, they can afford to allow their fancy 
a little play. In fifteen minutes a smart cook should 
be able to set before his companions if not more 
than four in number, tea or coffee and flapjacks, to 

Cookery 127 

which may be added anything cold that the larder 
may boast. Broiled or fried fish will take five or six 
minutes longer, potatoes still more time, and scr 
on up to what may be called in the woods elaborate 
dishes, like stews and roasts. 

Scrupulous cleanliness should be the cook's motto. 
He may not be able to attain to the very highest 
standard in this respect, but he can do ^. ^^, 
his best. He should begin operations 
by washing his hands(which may be done as osten- 
tatiously as possible; it inspires his companions with 
conidence!). Jesting aside, it is well to keep the 
traditional peck of dirt down to that one peck, and 
even the most hardened woodsman likes his food 
cooked and served as decently as possible. Much 
depends upon the state of the dishes, and there is 
no excuse for these to be otherwise than perfectly 
clean (see below, Dish-washing), 

Much of the drudgery in camp is avoided or min- 
imised by dividing and systematising the duties. 
Have the cook and cookee for the day Division of 
known beforehand. Another of the party Labour 
may be assigned to some other special duty, such as 
suppljring wood. One gets the habit of such an 
arrangement quickly, and the necessary camp duties 
then cease to be the irksome tasks of volunteers who 
regard themselves more or less in the light of 
martyrs. Even when all such work is done by the 
guides the employers should help where they can. 
It is different in the old world, where people Heipfuiuggg 
are frightfully apprehensive of losing caste 
by hobnobbing with their servants and huntsmen. 

1 28 The Way of the Woods 

The guides of the north woods are in almost all cases 
as much companions as servants. They know their 
places and are respectful, but they are with few 
exceptions men of a certain independence of char- 
acter and know their own worth; they value their 
self-respect to the point of sensitiveness. The man 
who is afraid of losing dignity by helping his guide 
in the duties of camp life would be a ridiculous, not 
to say contemptible figure on this side of the Atlantic. 

Most campers who employ guides allow them to do 
all the cooking and thereby miss a lot of fun. The 
most enjoyable trips I ever took were those upon 
which everybody took a hand as cook, excepting 
such as proved that their total lack of culinary ability 
was a devastating fact. Just as nearly every clubman 
is known for the preparation of some little chafing- 
dish dainty, so many campers boast of some mysteri- 
ous but delicious dish known only to themselves, and 
the concoction of these messes before a scoffing 
camp, which nevertheless generally remains to lick 
the platter clean, is always amusing and often most 
satisfactory. The failures contribute hugely to the 
"gaiety of nations.'* 

One last hint to the cook : If he is wise in his genera- 
tion he will not risk having things thrown at him by 
posing the old, old question, '* Well, boys, what* 11 we 
have to-day?** but will decide beforehand upon one 
or more dishes to propose, thus placing the onus 
of choice upon his victims. 

Nearly all camp cookery books presuppose the 

possession of materials which the majority 

of campers never carry with them, notably 

fresh eggs and milk. The following recipes are 

Cookery 129 

gtiiltless of either, dried eggs being recommended 
when in camp, though not necessary, and evaporated 
milk taking the place of fresh. 

Wood fires are very hot and it is better not to 
trust too implicitly to their tender mercies, but to 
watch pan, baker, and kettle closely, General 
especially the last, as water has a way of Warning 
boiling out before one is aware of it, and the result 
is disaster. 

During the meal a large kettle of water is being 
heated for the dish- washing, for the secret of this art 
is plenty of boiling water. If you have Dish- 

no large dish you must dip your implements Washing 
in, piece by piece. Otherwise put the things, knives 
and forks first, into the biggest pail or dish, pour 
water over them, and let them stand a minute or 
two. Then temper the water to bearable heat and 
have one man scrub the pieces with the dish-rag, 
while a second wipes. Sapolio will help mightily. 
Pans may have to be scraped with the "chain-rag,** 
after the most of the grease has been removed with 
a knife. Frying-pans should, before cleaning, be 
partly filled with water which is brought to a boil. 
If you are travelling very light a round piece of sod 
just fitting the pan will be found an excellent cleaner. 
Wash both dish-rag and wiper after each meal. The 
former should be well boiled every once in a while. 
Keep the camp clean, throwing refuse either into a 
big hole, to be covered up after each meal, or deposit- 
ing it some ways from the camp, to avoid attracting 

130 The Way of the Woods 



Tea. Into a dry, heated pot throw a heaping 
teaspoonful for each person plus two "for the pot," 
or, if more than four persons, three extra. Over this 
pour boiling water, two cups for each person, and 
allow to draw for at least ten minutes next the fire 
before drinking. Never boil tea, Nessmuk to the 
contrary notwithstanding. 

Coffee, In a dry, heated pot place two heaping 
dessertspoonfuls of ground coffee for each person, 
and over this pour a pint of boiling water per person. 
Set next the fire for about ten minutes. If the water 
is absolutely seething, as it should be, it is better not 
to boil the coffee, as its flavour and aroma are thereby 
impaired. If eggs are plenty in camp one may be 
mixed with the ground coffee, shell and all, before 
the water is added, in order to settle the brew. This 
may also be done by pouring in a little cold water 
after brewing. There is no objection to letting the 
coffee boil up for a second after putting it in the pot, 
but not longer. Nevertheless, the fact must be 
placed on record that the great majority of people 
do boil their coffee — ^at the expense of the aroma. 

Cocoa. Follow directions on the can. 

Grain Foods 

Biscuits, (For 4 persons). Mix into a quart of 
flour 2 teaspoonfuls of baking-powder, i teaspoon- 
ful of salt, and a piece of lard (or cold pork fat) 
size of an egg. Add i tablespoonful of Borden's 
evaporated milk (or 2 of milk-powder), and cold 
water enough to make a dough that can be rolled 

Cookery 131 

out, with a bottle or pin, on the bread board (of 
the foMing-baker), one half inch thick. Cut into 
biscuit form with the top of the baking-powder can 
or a knife, and place in rows in the greased bread-pan 
of the baker, which is then placed before a hot fire. 
Keep your eye on the batch or it will bum. Turn 
the pan at the proper time. A sliver of wood thrust 
into the biscuit will prove whether they are done or 
not. If baked too slowly the bread will be hard and 
tough ; if too quickly it will be raw inside. Expert- 
entia docet. 

If there is no pan the mixing may be done 
right in the fiour-bag itself, though it takes a little 
practice to do well. Do not knead bread much, 
or it will be tough. 

Bread is made like biscuit, but is put into the pan 
without cutting. 

Rye- and Oatmeal-Bread are made by substituting 
one or the other for a greater or smaller part of the 
white flour. In rye-bread the ryemeal may predom- 
inate; in oatmeal-bread the proportion may be 
about half and half. 

Those whose ambitions rise to the making of "real 
home" bread that must rise over night had better 
take some lessons from mother before leaving home, 
as the science cannot be learned from books. Nor 
does the average wilderness camper have either the 
time or the proper pan for yeast-raised bread. 

Johnny-cake (corn-bread). (4 persons.) Mix 
dry commeal and flour in the proportion of 3 to 2 
(or half and half if preferred) with 2 teaspoonfuls 
of baking-powder, i of salt, i of sugar, and a piece of 
lard (or pork fat ) size of egg. Add . tablespoonful 
of Borden's cream (or 2 of milk-powder) and make 

132 The Way of the Woods 

into thick batter, which is put into greased bread-pan, 
and baked before the fire in baker. If dried egg 
is taken mix in 2 tablevSpoonfuls when dry. 

Corn Pone (hoe-cake). This is Johnny-cake baked 
in the frying-pan, which is propped up before the 
coals. It may also be baked on a flat stone. To make 
Ashcake lay the mixed dough on a flat stone near the 
fire long enough for the surface to harden slightly, 
then cover it completely with hot ashes and leave 
it fifteen or twenty minutes. Brush off the ashes 
and eat soon. 

Cereals, such as oatmeal, cream of wheat, etc., bear 
directions for cooking on the outside of the packages. 

Hasty Pudding (cornmeal mush). (For 4 persons.) 
Add a scant teaspoonful of salt to a quart of boiling 
water and stir in gradually and thoroughly in order to 
avoid lumps,a heaping cup of cornmeal. Boil until soft 
and smooth (at least 20 minutes), stirring occasion- 
ally to prevent burning and adding a little hot water 
when necessary. Practice will teach one the proper 
consistency. If too watery it will not slice well when 
cold, to make 

Fried Mush, one of the delicacies of the woods. 
Slice the cold hasty pudding and fry brown in pork 
fat. Serve with molasses, syrup, or butter. Cold 
oatmeal may be cooked in like manner. 

Boiled Rice. Wash cup of rice and put in 2 quarts 
of boiling water with large spoonful salt. Boil till 
done, stirring frequently. 

Buckwheat Cakes are the best variety of flapjack. 
They are the easiest and quickest dish to prepare in 
the woods, for the self-raising buckwheat flour is 
merely mixed with the proper amount of cold water 
and large spoonfuls of it ladled into the very hot 

Cookery 133 

frying-pan greased with pork fat or butter. A hot 
fire makes crisp cakes, as likewise does a spoonful of 
molasses added to the batter. The best way to 
make cakes is to fill the pan with the batter and make 
one large cajce at a time. When the under side 
appears to be done more fat is put into the pan on 
each side and the solemn ceremony of flopping the 
cake takes place, by which the cake is tossed into 
the air and caught elegantly .and precisely, raw 
side down, in the pan as it falls. Duffers are recom- 
mended to learn this elegant art at once, as only 
in this manner can a large cake, usually called the 
" cookee's flapjack, " be turned cleanly and with style. 
Don't mind a failure or two, for nothing contributes 
more surely to the gaiety of nations and of camps 
than to behold the writhing disk shot confidently 
skyward, only to fall ignominiously among the blue 
flames of the camp-fire and the remarks tinged with 
the same hue of the unfortunate "flopper.** After 
every batch grease the pan again. Serve with molas- 
ses, syrup, or sugar and butter. 

Flapjacks (griddle cakes) . (For 4.) Mix dry as for 
biscuits (see above) (with the addition of two dessert- 
spoonfuls of dried egg if you have it), add the cream 
and water sufficient to make a thin, easily running 
batter. Fry and serve like buckwheat cakes. The 
addition to flapjack or buckwheat batter of a cup of 
well boiled rice makes the cakes delicate and tender. 


All packages of evaporated and other dried vege- 
tables bear directions for cooking on the labels. In 
regard to green vegetables it is almost wasted space 

134 The Way of the Woods 

to give directions, as the seasoning, time of cooking, 
etc., are matters of experience easily learned. A few 
common recipes are nevertheless added. 

Potatoes (too heavy except for easy trips). Choose 
those with small eyes. 

Boiled : leave jackets on, wash, cut out bad parts, 
cut up if too large. Put into salted boiling water and 
cook until a sliver will go in easily. Strain and stand 
by fire. 

Mashed: This is a great bother, but sometimes 
worth the trouble, as mashed potatoes are not 
injured by cold, they keep forever and are very light. 
They are therefore a good emergency food. Boil until 
quite done; then drain, peel, season with salt, pepper, 
and butter, add a little milk, and mash with a bottle 
or other implement. 

Baked: (one of the most difficult feats is to roast 
potatoes well in the ashes without burning them) : 
Put them in the coals but with enough ashes over 
them to prevent burning. Haul them out when you 
think they must be done, and return if necessary. 
The potatoes may also be wrapped individually 
in large leaves (or moist paper) and placed among the 
coals. I have had best success with this latter method. 

Fried Boiled: Slice cold potatoes and fry in a very 
hot pan with a lot of pork fat or bacon. Cubes of 
pork improve them. Be careful about seasoning if 
pork is used. Woodsmen add sliced onions. 

Fried Raw: Slice raw potatoes very thin and fry 
in boiling fat a few at a time. Take out with a fork, 
straining off grease. 

Stewed: Cut up cold boiled potatoes into cubes 
half inch long and stew them in water mixed with 
cream and butter. Season to taste. 

Cookery 135 

Beans. The large ones, Limas and others, are best 
for boiling; the smaller sizes for baking. 

Boiled: Let a pound of pork boil for half an hour 
in just enough water to cover it. Parboil extra a 
pint of beans; drain water from pork and place beans 
round it; add two quarts of water, and boil steadily 
about 2 hours. Nessmuk recommended adding a 
few potatoes, peeled, a half-hour or so before the 
beans are done. 

Baked: Boil beans and pork until the former begin 
to crack. Then drain, place pork in middle of a 
large kettle with beans round it; invert another 
kettle or other cover over this, place well down 
in glowing fire, and heap coals over all. Examine from 
time to time and add water if necessary. When the 
beans are thoroughly browned on top they are done. 
Lumbermen place their big iron or earthenware bean- 
pots in a deep "bean-hole'* covered with coals, and 
no other baked beans can rival those of the lumber- 

Onions. Dip in water before peeling and the eyes 
will not be affected. Boil in salted water twenty-five 
minutes to thirty-five, or until done. 

Fried: Slice and fry in fat. Fried onions are 
generally made in connection with potatoes or pork. 
An Onion Fry^ beloved of guides, is a fry up of cold 
potatoes and onions, about half and half. 

Mushrooms. If you are lucky enough to find them 
in the woods and are sure they are not toadstools, 
stew them in evaporated milk and water until soft, 
and season with salt, paprika, and butter. They 
may also be cooked in meat and other stews or used 
to flavour soups. 

Cranberries. When found wild these are generally 

136 The Way of the Woods 

very bitter, so that, after sorting and washing, they 
must be stewed in water with the addition of J 
cup of sugar to each cup of cranberries. 

Dried Fruit, (apples, apricots, prunes, etc ) should 
be covered with water, and allowed to cook slowly 
until soft. Renew water as it boils away. Add sugar 
to taste while cooking. Dried Potatoes, which are 
light and really not bad, must be boiled before frying. 


Pork. The opening of our great West by the 
explorer, trapper, and lumberman is under serious 
obligations to salt pork, as it ever has been, and still 
is, the great food staple of the woodsman. If it is 
very salt parboil or at least soak it well. This is 
only necessary when pork is to be fried as a separate 
dish; Pork is mostly used as an ingredient in other 

Fried Pork: Slice and fry slowly in the pan. Rather 
overdo it at first if you are not experienced and the 
next time you will know just when it is cooked right. 

Pork fat should be, whenever possible, poured 
off and preserved for cooking purposes. 

Bacon: Cut off the rind, slice, and fry slowly, 
taking care that the fat does not become ignited 
by the fire. 

Like pork, bacon is used mostly in other dishes. 

Canned Beef, Tongue, etc. need no especial comment. 

Venison (including moose, elk, and caribou meat). 
Always tough until killed a week; better every day 
after that. If tough pound it well. 

Roast: Any part of the meat may be used but 
the best cuts for roasting come from the saddle and 

Cookery 137 

the shoulder. Trim by cutting off superfluous bone 
and fat. There are three ways of roasting: (i) in 
the baker (the most convenient) ; (2) on a spit over the 
fire; and (3) in the "Dutch*' oven. 

(i) In the Baker: Lay and pin (with slivers) slices 
of pork or bacon over the meat and sprinkle with a 
little flour, and with salt. Place in the pan of the 
baker and cover the bottom with water. Set before 
the coals and baste occasionally with the gravy. 
When done on one side turn the pan. Some insert 
thin slices of bacon into cuts in the meat (larding) 
before roasting. 

(2) Over the Fire: Prepare as before and skewer 
well. Thrust a spit, perhaps a hardwood stick, through 
the middle and rest its ends upon forked stakes on 
each side of the fire, which should be a glowing 
bed of coals. Time, 2 to 3 hours. Turn as needed. 
The spit should be long enough to allow the meat to 
be suspended over any part of the fire. The objec- 
tion to this method is that, without special precau- 
tions, the outside flesh becomes hard. Buttered 
paper fastened on will partly prevent this. 

(3) In a Dutch Oven: (a large iron pot with a lid, 
popular in the West) : Season and place in half inch 
of water in the pot and cover. From time to time 
baste with the gravy by means of a rag fastened to a 

Gravy may be made in the bake-pan; a little 
finely cut liver makes it rich. 

Steak: It is pretty well admitted that, with the 
exception of the preparation of certain special dishes, 
rural cooks are far behind their urban rivals in 
knowledge and skill, but particularly in the former. 
The principal reason for this state of affairs is that 

138 The Way of the Woods 

in the country, and especially among woodsmen, 
tradition is so hidebound that anything new stands 
a poor show even of a trial ; and added to this is the 
well-known loyalty of all mankind to. the dishes of 
childhood. One of the principal household gods of 
country districts, and one that demands as many 
victims as Moloch, is the frying-pan, which I consider 
the greatest enemy of the woodsman. The country 
standpoint in regard to it is exemplified by the regu- 
larly accepted name of a piece of moosemeat. **I 
killed a moose yesterday and I *11 send you up a fry.'* 
Not a roast or a broil but a fry. I have never been 
in the woods with a native who did n*t prefer his 
moose meat fried, and the same applies to any other 
food that can be got into the pan. The result is that 
many a magnificent specimen of manhood suffers from 
chronic indigestion that would kill him outright 
if he lived any other life than that of the woods. 
There can, of course, be only one opinion regarding 
the comparative excellence of fried and broiled steak, 
the latter being in every way superior, both for 
palate and health. Broiling keeps the juices and 
brings out the flavour. 

Broiling: Cut from i to ij inches thick, season 
with salt (and if desired pepper) , place in the broiler, 
and cook over or before glowing coals, the hotter 
the better. Turn frequently until done, then place 
on hot plate with a little butter. 

Frying : If you must fry steak, then have the 
grease in the pan piping hot, so that an incrustation 
will form, preventing the meat from absorbing the 
grease. As this rule is generally neglected by wood- 
land cooks, their steaks are jsoggy with fat. After 
the meat is seared pour off as much of the fat as is 

Cookery 139 

not absolutely needed, and turn the steak frequently 
to prevent burning. If fried underdone with great 
care a steak cooked in this manner is often not bad. 

Roasting on Sticks is a favourite way to cook meat. 
A piece of seasoned meat is fixed to a forked wooden 
toaster, and either held or stood before the coals until 
done. This is a kind of broiling particularly adapted 
to small quantities. 

Liver. Always delicious. Remove gall-bladder, 
(if present), parboil, and fry with bacon, or roast 
before the fire with strips of bacon. 

Moose-muffle. The Indians usually boil it; an 
onion gives it flavour. It is reckoned a great de- 
licacy. Merci! 

Hares (wrongly called rabbits) are very good 
eating in cold weather, despite the rural prejudice 
against them. They should not be eaten for several 
days after killing. Though they may be cooked 
without parboiling if kept sufficiently long, they are 
better, if eaten within three or four days of being 
killed, for being parboiled. Do this in a kettle, 
seasoning with salt, pepper, and an onion. Fifteen 
minutes* good boiling is enough. After parboiling 
proceed as follows: 

To Roast: Cut off legs at body, which is then divided 
in three pieces. Put in bake-pan with a little water 
and slices of pork or bacon. Baste occasionally. 

To Broil: Salt and toast before fire in broiler, or 
upon a stout forked stick. 

To Fry: Sprinkle with flour and fry in lard, 
or pork. 

To Stew: After parboiling leave the meat in the 
kettle and add a tablespoonful of rice, a couple 
of onions cut up, a potato or so, or, in fact, anything 

I40 The Way of the Woods 

that will enrich the stew. Season to taste (paprika 
or curry are excellent for those who like these con- 
diments). As the water evaporates add enough to 
keep the meat covered. When the meat parts readily 
from the bones the stew is done. 

Porcupines (especially young ones) offer an 
acceptable variety to the menu, and are generally 
excellent eating, though there are exceptions on 
account of season or feed. As there are no quills on 
the belly and the skin is quite loose, a porcupine is 
easily dressed. It should be hung up for several days 
before cooking unless in very hot weather. It may 
be either roasted or made into a stew, in the manner 
of hares, but must be parboiled at least a half-hour 
to be tender. One part of the porcupine is, however, 
always a delicacy — the livery which is easily removed 
by making a cut just under the neck into which the 
hand is thrust, and the liver pulled out. It may be 
fried with bacon, or baked slowly and carefully in the 
baker-pan with slices of bacon. Do not neglect 
to try porcupine liver. 

Muskrat may be eaten for a change, being careful, 
in cleaning, not to break the musk-sacs. Use the 
backs and hind legs only, parboiling as for hare, 
and then either stewing, or roasting in the baker. 

Turtles are nearly all edible. Boiling water kills 
them at once, or cut off the heads, which bleeds them. 

Stew: Crack and pull off bottom shell, remove 
entrails, cut off head and feet, and skin legs; also 
cut covering of back shell. Place in hot water and 
boil till the flesh is free; then remove bones and add 
an onion, and seasoning. If on hand add a small 
quantity of sherry or brandy and omit the onion. 

Game Birds (grouse, quail, snipe, woodcock, etc.) 

Cookery 141 

must, like other game, hang several daj's before 
cookLng. Woodsmen often commit the crime of 
killing a grouse and slapping it into the frying-pan 
almost before it is cold. Result: tough and tasteless. 
Grouse are best parboiled before roasting. 

To Broil: Pluck if there is time; other\i-ise skin 
and draw. To pluck, dip in boiling water. Open 
down the back, season, lay a thin slice of bacon or 
pork over each side, and place in the broiler. Broil 
over hot fire. 

To Roast over Fire: Dress and draw and. without 
splitting, place piece of bacon or pork in the cavity. 
Set up before the coals on a stick which may be 
turned as the bird cooks. 

To Roast in Baker: Dress, draw, place piece of 
bacon or pork in the cavity and pin a strip over the 
breast. Place in the pan of the baker in a very 
little water. Turn pan when necessary. 

Note: Woodcock need not be drawn until cooked, 
as the entrails come out easily then. 


Canned soups are very good but are admissible 
only to the easiest of trips on account of their 
weight and bulk, which consists almost entirely 
of water. Much better are the soup tablets made by 
Knorr, Maggi, and others. One package of Maggi's 
costing s cents is enough for two persons. Knorr *s 
packages make about 3^ pints each and cost 10 
cents. Both have a choice of a large variety of 

Peameal Sausage (Erbswurst) has already been 
mentioned above. It makes a tasty and nutritious 

142 The Way of the Woods 

soup but is expensive. When somebody on this 
side of the ocean produces the same thing for half 
the price it will be well worth taking into the woods. 
Rather to be recommended are the soups which may be 
made in the woods of materials already on hand, and 
which may be divided into soups proper, gruels, and 
broths or meat-soup. 

Potato-soup, Mash boiled potatoes (usually left 
over) and put them into seasoned boiling water with a 
couple of onions cut up into small pieces. Cook 
until the onions are done, stirring frequently. 

Corn and Tomato Soups may be made of the canned 
vegetables, should they be available. Add necessary 
water and boil a few minutes. 

Rice Soup is rather insipid made of rice alone, and 
rice is therefore used mostly as a broth ingredient. 

Bean Soup takes some time to make properly, 
but is savoury and wholesome, and is therefore a 
permanent-camp dish. About a quart of beans 
(for 4 persons) should be soaked over night in cold 
water, and then put into three quarts of cold water 
and boiled slowly for half an hour. Then drain off 
the water and add a like quantity of boiling water. 
Season and boil for an hour and add half a pound of 
pork sliced. When the beans are soft fish out the 
pork, mash up the beans with a billet of wood or a 
bottle, and return the pork. Boil another quarter 
or half an hour. It bums easily unless stirred 

Pea Soup (from split peas) is made in the same 
way as bean soup, but with more water, as it thickens 
quickly. It burns even more easily than bean soup. 

Turtle Soup. Prepare the meat as directed above, 
season, and boil slowly for half an hour, A little rice 

Cookery 143 

may be used if desired. A dash of brandy helps the 

Oatmeal and Cornmeal Grtiels consist merely in 
porridge thinned to the consistency of thick soup. 

Broth is a staple luxury of the woods. It is all- 
comprehensive, being composed of every toothsome 
ingredient that can be got into the kettle, but the 
chief element is a piece of some kind of lean fresh 
meat cut into junks about the size of an eggy which 
are put into the biggest kettle filled with cold water 
and allowed to simmer over the fire. When the 
raw meat is nearly cooked any left-over cooked meat 
may be added. When the meat shows signs of drop- 
ping to pieces add any vegetables, cut up, that ma^ 
be on hand, as well as a little rice (in fact '* any old 
thing"), and season. Paprika adds character. Skim 
off any grease that rises. Boil long and eat hot. 
Broth offers the sylvan cook the opportunity of his 
life, for the limits of its variety have not . yet been 


Needless to say, fish are best when they are 
freshest, though a few hours make no appreciable 
difference. To dress scaly fish, hold by the head and 
scale to tail on each side. Head, side and belly fins 
can be cut off at a stroke. Make cuts on each side 
of the back-fin and take this out. Trout, if small, 
are cleaned by severing head and gills and pulling 
them and the entrails all out together. Trout are 
scraped of slime. Heads and tails of small trout are 
left on. A slit down the belly will lay bare the 
entrails of large fish. Wash and salt. A Marble fish- 
knife is a boon if many fish are in prospect. 

144 The Way of the Woods 

Boiled: If camping in a district where salmon, lake 
trout, and other large fish may be reckoned upon, a 
napkin or other piece of cloth should always be 
taken along to pin the fish in when boiling, else it will 
go to pieces in the kettle. Clean and cut off head, 
tail, and fins. Either whole fish or pieces of two or 
three pounds' weight may be used, pinned up in the 
cloth. Double the whole fish up if too large for the 
kettle. Most people prefer to place a small piece of 
pork inside the napkin. Cover with well salted 
boiling water and boil slowly until done. Eat with 
butter or fish sauce (see below). 

Broiled: Clean and open down the back. Heads, 
"bails, and fins of small trout need not be removed. 
Place in the broiler with a slice of pork or bacon 
across each half. Do not broil too long or the fish 
will lose its flavour, dry up, and harden. Guides gene- 
rally commit this fault. 

Roasted: Clean a small fish, thrust a piece of bacon 
or pork into the belly cavity, salt on the outside, 
and impale upon a forked stick, which is then stuck 
in the ground near the coals and turned occasionally, 
or the toaster is cut longer and held in the cook's 
hand. As this can only be done with one fish at a 
time, it is usual for each camper to roast his own 
fish. There is no better way of cooking trout and 
some other fish than this, as all the juices and the 
flavour are perfectly preserved. It is even better, with 
trout and other delicate fish, to roast without pork 
or bacon, in order to preserve the true flavour. In 
this case the fish must be well salted inside and out. 
Larger fish may be split down the back and roasted 
on triple-pronged toasters cut from shrubs. 

Skewered: Skewer a half-dozen small fish and as 

Cookery 145 

many pieces of bacon or pork, alternately, sandwich 
fashion, upon a stick, and roast. 

Planked: This is advantageous only with flat fish, 
like sunfish, though any kind may be planked. Clean, 
split up the back, and tack with wooden pins upon 
a flat piece of wood or bark, tacking slices of bacon 
or pork over the upper part of the fish as it is stretched 
on the plank, which may be sharpened and thrust 
into the ground before the coals or merely propped 
up before them. 

Fried: Sever backbone in several places to prevent 
curling up in the pan. Fish are lightly rolled in 
commeal and fried with sliced pork or bacon. The 
tendency is to fry too long, thus destroying the 
flavour. However, if the fish are very small, they 
may be fried crisp, like whitebait. In this case the 
heads of small trout are not removed. If no meal 
is available, dry crumbs will do as well. A drop of 
lemon juice brings out the flavour. 

Scalloped: This has a rather "citified" sound and 
takes some time, but may be easily tried for a change 
when time is no object and you have eaten your fish 
for days in every other conceivable way. Boil 
four pounds of fish until it flakes. Prepare a sauce 
as follows: Melt a piece of butter, size of egg, add 
spoonful flour; stir until smooth; do not brown. 
Add 2 cups water, in which have been dissolved 
6 large spoonfuls evaporated milk, -J- teaspoonful 
salt, and a little pepper; stir until it boils. Place 
fish in pan in reflector, cover with the sauce, and 

Baking in Clay: First find your clay, and there* s 
the rub, for the proper stuff is very, very, rare. The 
fish need not be cleaned in any way, but is salted and 

146 The Way of the Woods 

filled with bacon, covered completely with the clay, 
and buried in the hot coals of the fire, where it may 
remain, if about a pound in weight, for f of an hour; 
if anything, less. Break the clay and the fish is 
supposed to fall out ready for eating, leaving his 
fins and hide adhering to the clay. The entrails 
will be but a hard mass and may be dropped out, 
like a bullet. I have tried this often, but, for want 
of good clay or this or that, never had much luck. 
More to be recommended is 

Steaming in the Coals: Draw the fish without 
removing head or fins, salt well, and, if desired, fill 
with pork or bacon. Wrap it in several layers of 
large leaves previously dipped in water and lay in 
the hot coals until done. The time necessary for this 
is hard to judge and must be learned by experience. 
However, there is a good deal of leeway before the 
fish is overdone, as the steam keeps it from drying up. 
On taking from the fire remove the leaves and serve. 
If you hit it just right you will taste the most delicate 
fish that you ever put into your mouth. 

I am so fond of steamed trout that I never fail to 
take with me a dozen sheets of parchment paper (the 
kind in which butter is sold) in which to wrap my 
fish, as it is often difficult to find leaves large enough 
in the north woods. Any kind of paper will do. 
After wrapping up, the bundle should be doused 
several times in water. ** Steam-baked " trout are 
the ne plus ultra of woods cookery. 

Chowder: Cut the fish into pieces not larger than 
two inches square, removing all the bones possible. 
Guides leave most of them in, but it will pay in the 
end to cut away even the ribs from trout, as they 
are very bothersome. Cover the bottom of the kettle 



Cookery 147 

with layers in the following order : slices of pork, 
sliced raw potatoes, chopped onions, fish, hard 
bisctdt soaked (or bread). Repeat this (leaving 
out pork) until the pot is nearly full. Season each 
layer. Cover barely with water and cook an hour 
or so over a very slow fire. When thick stir gently. 
Any other ingredients that are at hand may be added 
when the chowder is building. (From "Seneca's" 
Canoe and Camp Cookery.) 

Another Chowder: Prepare fish as above. Boil in 
plenty of salted water three sliced raw potatoes, three 
chopped onions, a large spoonful of rice, and a little 
paprika (half cup Julienne if available) for half an 
hotir. Then add the fish and half a cup of diced 
pork and boil until done. Guides prefer more pork. 

Sauces. White Sauce for Boiled Fish: Melt slowly ^ 
in pan piece of butter size of an egg and stir in thor- 
oughly one heaping dessert-spoonful of flour until 
smooth ; add ij- teaspoonful salt, a little pepper. Make 
a cup of milk with hot water and Peerless Milk or 
2 dessert-spoonfuls milk-powder. Mix well while 

Another, Put 2 tablespoonfuls butter and same 
of flour into a hot pan and mix into a smooth paste 
over the fire. Pour over them a pint of hot water 
(best is that in which the fish has been boiled) and 
stir in well. Boil up once and season. A few drops 
of lemon ixiay be added. (** Seneca. '*) 

Mustard Sauce (best for coarse fish): Melt butter 
size of large egg in pan and stir in i tablespoonful 
flour and half teaspoonful mustard. Boil up once 
and season. 


Most campers are satisfied to accept flapjacks, 

148 The Way of the Woods 

fried mush and molasses or syrup, and stewed fruit 
as full value for all sweets; but occasionally a fit of 
ambition attacks a cook to do something out of the 
ordinary, in which case he may work it off on one of 
the following recipes. 

Baked Rice Pudding. Boil a pint of rice ten minutes, 
then add a quart of ** milk- water*' (made of Peerless 
or dried milk), salt, a cup of sugar, and (if available) 
a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. Stir up and put 
into a greased deep tin pan or the kettle. Bake 
carefully in the fire until well browned (an hour or 
more according to the fire, which should not be too 

Boiled Fruit Pudding. Add to ordinary biscuit 
dough half a cup of sugar and roll out to a thickness 
of not over a quarter inch. Place the fruit (stew^ed 
apples, peaches, apricots, or prunes, etc.) in the 
centre and roll up tight in a cloth. Place in boiling 
water and cook half an hour. Serve with 

Brandy Sauce. Melt together butter half size of 
egg, half cup sugar, and stir in teaspoonful flour and 
pinch of salt. When smooth add two cups boiling 
water (little less than two lumbermen's tin cups) and 
boil five minutes. Take off and add a large spoonful 
of ** something strong,'* brandy preferred (A. & F.). 
The sauce is very good without any spirits. 

If the camp boasts a deep tin baking-dish or some 
dish that will do as well, the cook may try a 

Baked Fruit Pudding. Dough as for biscuit with 
half a cup of sugar added. Roll out thin (J inch), 
and line the inside of the greased tin. On bottom 
put thick layer of fruit (apples best) sprinkled with 
sugar (and cinnamon if on hand), then another 
similar layer, and so on until the dish is full, putting 

Cookery 149 

small pieces of butter on the top layer over the sugar, 
and wetting down with a little water. Sprinkle all 
lightly with flour and cover all with the rest of the 
rolled out dough, crimping down the edges to join 
the inside lining of dough. Make three short cuts 
through the top with a sharp knife for air-holes and 
set in hot ashes (but not too hot). In about an hour 
it should be done. A fork thrust in will tell. Brandy 
sauce will improve it. I have often made this pud- 
ding in the pan of the baker, with a single layer of 

Baked Fruit Dumplings (can be baked in re- 
flector). Make the sugared dough, roll out, and 
cut into disks about 6 inches in diameter. Place 
a suitable quantity of fruit -(stewed dried apples 
best if no fresh ones) in the middle of one, lay a 
second on top, and crimp down the edges all round. 
When ready place dumplings in the baker-pan and 
bake like biscuits. Brandy sauce. 



If the journey leads through country known to 
one of the party it will be possible to stop at regular 
camping places, as these are likely to be found at 
convenient distances along the route. If, however, 
another party has camped on such a spot only a 
short time before, it is well to avoid it or camp at 
some distance to one side, for the first-comers will 
have been remarkable people if they have not left 
garbage enough about to attract swarms of flies. 
The chief advantage of old camp-grounds is that 
in all probability there are good water and plenty 
of wood at hand, the two chief requisites of the 
camper outside his shelter. If the country is un- 
familiar and time does not press it is well to be on the 
lookout for a good camp-ground not too late in the 
afternoon, so as to have at least two hours to make 
camp before dark. If you see a comparatively open 
place with some level ground, if possible not too close 
to the water, but in the neighbourhood of some good 
fishing-ground, disembark there and have a look over 
it. In the north woods one must not be too fastidious. 
Ideal camping places, especially in regard to smooth 
open ground, are too often few and far between, and 
it is frequently necessary to manufacture a tenting 
ground by hewing and clearing and pulling. This 



Making Camp 151 

is not the least interesting part of camping, and 
many of the camp-grounds to which I have become 
most attached were nothing more than tangles of 
underbrush when we first attacked them with our 
axes. A good landing place for the canoes is a great 
advantage, the best being a flat rock or bank with 
fifteen inches or more of water immediately in front, 
so that the canoe may be brought side-on to the shore. 
It is a general maxim that mosquitoes are more 
troublesome on low swampy ground and near the 
water than higher up, but the north woods insects 
are not slaves to rules laid down in books and they 
will be on hand wherever the camp is situated. The 
tent should be pitched some feet above the level 
of the water and on such ground that, in case of rain, 
no water will run into the tent. If necessary shallow 
trenches may be dug on the dangerous sides. 

Having chosen the camp-ground the party, if 
consisting of four or more, may be divided into two 
squads, one of which proceeds to clear Temporary 
the ground and pitch the tents, while the Camps 

other ** rustles** wood and makes the fire. If there 
are but two persons they will do better to work to- 
gether, at least at first, unless the weather is fine 
and there is plenty of time, in which case they may 
divide the labour as between the squads above men- 
tioned until the time comes to put up the tent. The 
space to be enclosed by the canvas walls should be 
cleared with the hatchet of all growth that cannot 
be pulled up with the hands, care being taken not to 
leave any sharp shrub-stumps standing that will 
cause discomfort and puncture the poncho or rubber 
bed. If the ground is soaked a fire may be made 

152 The Way of the Woods 

on the site and left burning for an hour or more. 
Then put out thoroughly. The tent should stand 
so that the wind will not blow into it or the camp-fire 
will soon smoke you out. A pleasant view is a boon 
if the wind will allow. If there are two tents they 
should be pitched opposite each other at such an 
angle to the wind that it will blow through the lane 
between them, which must be wide enough to allow 
of a big camp-fire. Look about for any dead or 
weakly trees that might be blown down upon the 
tents by a gale. If any suspicious ones are found 
fell them. 

More than two men are in the way unless the tent 
Pitching a is a monster. Cut the following poles 
Wall-tent and stakes (for a yj x 9 tent): 

Ridge-pole, straight, 10 feet long. 

Two front poles, forked, about 10 feet long. 

Back pole, forked, about 8 feet long. 

Two side poles, light, plain, 8 feet long. 

Four strong stakes, 3 or 4 feet long. 

The canvas is brought to the spot and the ridge- 
pole run through the holes in front and back. If the 
tent is up-to-date it will be provided with sleeves 
about six inches long extending from the top holes 
and bound to the ridge-pole with their own strings. 
These sleeves prevent insects from entering the tent 
at those points. The back forked pole is then driven 
perpendicularly into the earth and the ridge-pole 
laid across it. In front the two longer forked poles 
are driven into the earth, one at each side, and crossed 
at the forks, over which the fore end of the ridge- 
pole is laid, the three poles being lashed together. 
The four stakes are then driven firmly into the earth, 

Making Camp 153 

each about a yard from one of the tent corners, and 
the corner guy-ropes attached to them. The tent is 
then firmly pitched, but the other guy-ropes must be 
made taut so that the canvas is well stretched. This 
is done, not by staking down each rope, but by laying 
one of the side poles on each side in the angle made 
by the comer stakes and their guy-ropes, and lashing 
the other guy-ropes to the side pole. If necessary 
the side poles may be lashed to the corner stakes. 
This in my experience is all that is needed, for unless 
there is a very gale blowing I never use tent pins 
with tents that are provided with sod-cloths inside, 
upon which stones, poles, or extra duffle may be laid, 
thus pinning down the bottom of the tent. Tent- 
pins may be used of course if thought necessary. 
The above may seem a complicated way of pitching 
a tent, but in practice it is the very reverse. Fifteen 
minutes are sufficient to cut and trim the poles. Once 
up the tent is there "for keeps. " The two fore poles 
need not be forked, as they are lashed with the ridge- 
pole. In the camp shown in our frontispiece it will 
be seen that we used two canoe setting-poles. 

Of course the great advantage of the crossed poles 
in front over the old method is, that there is no per- 
pendicular upright in front to bar entrance to the 
tent door. 

I could never see the use of guys for wilderness 
tents; it is easier to take a turn round the stake. 

The important thing in pitching a tent in this 
manner is to have the corner stakes properly placed 
in order that the tent shall be straight. Pitching 
Most old woodsmen are somewhat careless A-Tents 
about pitching tents and get them up anyhow, but 

1 54 The Way of the Woods 

a little care and a straight eye will make a good job 
of it with little bother. Wall-tents are rather heavy 
for rope-ridges, which, however, are generally at- 
tached to A-tents, sewed along the ridge with a 
loop or extra rope projecting at each end, the rope 
being stretched between two convenient trees, or 
one tree and two forked poles crossed, the end of the 
rope being fastened to a stake. Where no trees are 
available the crossed poles may be used at each end. 
If the tent is suspended between two trees it will sag 
and must be braced up by placing forked poles under 
the rope at each end and near the tent-comers, 
A-tents may also be pitched with poles, like the wall- 
tent, and I for one prefer that manner, as the tent is 
stiffer when so pitched. Tent-pins are necessary, 
and they should be stout. 

Cut two forked poles and a ridge-pole which is laid 
across them. The dimensions should fit the tent. 
Pitching a The top of the tent is tied to the ridge- 
Lean-to pole by the ropes provided for that purpose 
at regular intervals, the pole being under the canvas. 
The tent, if up to date, will have a front which may 
be rolled up out of the way, or thrown back over the 
tent, or staked out in front as a portico. The three 
poles are braced in front by two guy-ropes, one at 
each corner. At the back a stout stake is driven at 
each corner and the corner ropes attached thereto. 
A pole is then laid from stake to stake (outside and 
underneath) and the remaining guy-ropes tied to it. 
The tent should have a sod-cloth, which will render 
pinning down unnecessary, but this may be done at 
two or three points at back and sides. Our frontis- 
piece shows a lean-to tent with front rolled up. 

Making Camp 155 

A lean-to should be pitched with particular at- 
tention to the direction of the wind, so that smoke 
and eventual rain will not enter. On the ground from 
pole to pole in front a small log should be laid. (See 

For the present we will ignore the labours of the 
cook and wood-cutter, and proceed to **fix up" our 

Preparing the beds is a task too often left until 
dusk, especially when blankets are used and some 
kind of a mattress must be improvised. 
The popular one is the browse bed, and 
its aromatic elasticity has inspired a whole poetic 
literature of its own. Now the truth about browse 
beds is that, if well made, they are good, nay, more, 
they are delicious. But a carelessly made one is hard 
and humpy, and most are of this description, for the 
reason that the right kind is not made in a few minutes 
but in thirty at least. The best material is the balsam 
fir, on account of its delicious and wholesome odour 
and the resiliency of its boughs. Hemlock and spruce 
come next in the order of fitness. Fell and drag a 
couple of thick young trees to camp and lop off the 
fans, the more the better. It is immaterial whether 
you begin to lay the bed at foot or head, but for the 
sake of convenience the head is the better, as then 
you back gradually out of camp. You therefore lay 
a thick row of fans at the back of the tent, butts 
towards the door and convex side up. Stick them 
in almost perpendicularly and bend them over; the 
idea is to get springiness. Lay the next row six 
inches below the first, i.e., thrusting in the butts 
that distance from those of the first layer. Proceed 

1 56 The Way of the Woods 

on this plan until the whole ground is covered with a 
thick, smooth, springy mattress, paying particular 
attention to the rows that will come under the hips. 
Over this bed spread the tarpaulin or rubber blanket 
or ponchos, and lay the blankets or sleeping-bags over 
all. The trouble with many browse beds is that the 
evergreen fans are merely strewn over the earth and 
not thrust into it; they therefore flatten out hard at 
once. The best browse bed will harden in two or 
three nights and must then be remade, some of the 
fans being renewed. If one cares to take particular 
trouble a layer of thick moss may be put down under 
the fans to add softness. In semi-civilised districts 
meadow-hay stacks may be borrowed from with 

Another mattress is made of a portable empty 
bed-tick about 6^ feet long and 2 J wide, which is 
filled in camp with browse, grass, leaves, 
or any available duffle. 

There are two kinds of stretchers, both of stout 
canvas, preferably brown. One is of a single thick- 
Stretcher ness with pockets at the sides for poles; 
Beds the other is double so that it can be filled 

with browse, hay, or leaves, and is therefore to be pre- 
ferred, being softer and much warmer, as the single 
stretcher makes a cold mattress. The method of use 
is as follows: logs six inches in diameter are laid at 
. head and foot and slightly levelled on top. Stout 
I poles, flattened at the ends, are thrust through the 
' pockets of the stretcher and nailed to the logs. The 
■" poles must be springy but stout enough to keep the 

Making Camp 


sleeper from sagging to the ground. On breaking 
camp the nails are withdrawn and preserved. If the 
logs prove too low flat stones may be placed under 
them. Some lay the poles in grooves cut in the logs 
or over forked stakes, but these methods are not 
conducive to the proper rigidity of the 
poles, which is needed to keep taut the 
canvas. This must be of the stoutest 
variety, or it will speedily lose shape 
when used for this purpose. A sheep- 
skin makes a warm bed of a stretcher, 
which is then pretty nearly ideal, 
though somewhat difficult to put up. 
For permanent camps there is nothing 

Of course those fortunate persons 
who use air mattresses need not 
bother themselves with all these bed- 
making problems. (See Sleeping-bags 
under Personal Outfit.) 

A line may be stretched under the 
ridge-pole from which to hang articles 
of clothing, etc. Forked Tent-fur- 
sticks may be set up along nishings 
the sides of the tent to lay guns and 
rods on, though, if the tent has a 
sod-cloth, as it should, they may be 
laid on that, as the cloth is waterproof and the weight 
will help make the tent tight. If mosquito-bars 
are in the kit get them out and fasten them up. 
Place every man's knapsack or other personal bag 
at the head of his bed. Clear the space in front of 
the tent of underbrush. 

Fig. 27.— 
Candlestick of 
Bark and Split 

158 The Way of the Woods 

Having made the tent habitable, proceed to put 
up the dining or provision fly, which is either brought 
J., . „ along separate or improvised out of un- 
used ponchos and rubber blankets, thrown 
over a framework of poles, and secured with marline. 
(See full-page picture facing page 70.) 

No furniture is admissible in temporary camps, 
unless an exception be made in favour of a light 
folding table, or a roll-up table-top, such as may be 
had of a dealer, but the latter costs $2 and is too 
small to be of much use (2x3 ft.) If carried a 
frame of forked sticks may be constructed for it. 

Meantime the cook and wood-cutter have been 
busy. The north country produces hard and soft 
Fir d '^oo^s, the former being generally con- 
sidered exclusively suited to making fires, 
as they bum slowly and give lasting coals,- while soft 
woods burn out rapidly and are apt to spark, en- 
dangering the tents and the forest. The best north 
country firewoods are, approximately, in the order 
of excellence, hickory, the oaks, ash, black and 
yellow birch, maple, beech, white birch, etc. Dry 
pine among the soft woods is much prized, especially 
in wet weather. It may here be remarked that the 
birches and maples are sometimes called soft woods 
in the north. The regular soft woods are used only 
in emergencies. Dry bark, especially that of hemlock, 
makes a quick, hot fire and is therefore liked for 
cooking. Driftwood is generally soft and therefore 
good only to start fires with. Green wood bums 
best in winter, having less sap. It is almost ex- 
clusively used at all seasons for camp-fires that are 
meant to last. 

* ••• 

Making Camp 159 

For kindling, the forest staple is white birch-bark, 
the woodsman's friend, which will ignite even when 
moist. It is usually to be found everywhere, but I 
always have a dry piece stuffed in somewhere in the 
kit; it may save time. Pine knots are wonderful 
to start a fire with. 

Our axeman fells several young hardwood trees 
as near camp as possible, dresses them, and hauls 
them to the fireside, where they are cut into suitable 
lengths, say four feet. About half the pieces are 
then split in two. 

The cook has arranged two short rows of stones, 
about a yard apart, the larger stones at the back, 
ranging in size towards the front. The piroDiac 
gap at the back is filled either with one 
or more large stones or a big green log. Between 
the stones the cook starts his fire. ^ Having prepared 
a bundle of kindlings of dry hardwood and dead 
branches, he lights a piece of birch-bark and adds 
the kindlings one by one until the blaze is able-bodied 
enough to stand larger billets, which are then laid 
on, followed by the four-foot pieces which are laid 
across the stones. The camp-cranes already de- 
scribed are then cut and the kettles of water hung 
over the fire ready for boiling. When the small 
logs burn in two the ends are shoved into the fire 
and other pieces are laid across, always horizontally. 
Woodsmen never build a fire by placing the wood 
at right» angles, as most amateurs do. (See Getting 
Meals.) Supper is soon ready, and while it is being 
discussed a kettle of fresh water is heating to wash 
the dishes with. The stones are sometimes dis- 

t See also page 125 for cookingfire. 

i6o The Way of the Woods 

carded in favour of fire-dogs, or hand- junks, of wood. 
I prefer the stones. 

When the eating is over and the trip to the neigh- 
botiring trout pool has been discussed, the cookee 
CamD-fires P^^^^^^^ to make the fire for the night. 
He begins by seeing that the two front 
comer stones are of such a size that any logs rolling 
down from behind will be stopped by them and not 
keep on into the tent. He then lays as many of the 
biggest logs across the stones as possible, heaping 
them up behind, and, if necessary, driving two long 
stakes at the back to lean the logs upon. As the 
wood in the middle of the fire burns out the logs will 
settle down, one by one, and thus the fire will keep 
for many hours without replenishing. If the night 
is likely to be cold, one man must be deputed to rise 
at least once during the night and lay more logs on. 
Very likely one operation of this kind will be suffi- 
cient unless it rains. 

It may be remarked here that people who go into 
the woods armed only with pretty little pocket- 
hatchets are naturally not able to enjoy a camp- 
fire that is a camp-fire, and I don't know that they 
deserve to. 

Look about for two things, birch-bark and a dead 
stump. Split the latter and get some dry wood out 
Making ^^ ^^^ middle. If you have no hatchet 
Fires in the or axe with you hack away with your 
Rain knife and patience will be rewarded. Keep 

the dry wood gained under your coat and don't 
begin your fire until you have a fair supply, enough 
to withstand the wetness of the wood you will have 

Making Camp i6i 

to feed the fire with. You can make a fire without 
matches in the rain — on paper, if you have this, that, 
and the other; really you can do it once in a thousand 
times. Better adhere strictly to the rule never to 
go abroad without your safety match-box well filled 
with wind-matches. In dry weather your chances 
without matches are a little better, for you may be 
able to use the crystal of your watch as a burning- 
glass ; or you may combine a piece of punk with some 
lint scraped from your handkerchief and rub it in 
the powder taken from a cartridge, striking a spark 
into it from flint or quartz with the back of your 
knife. These things sound lovely on paper, but 
belong chiefly to the boys* story department, so far 
as their utility to the average camper is concerned. 

When there is no camp-stove the fire may be built 
against a ledge of rock, or a wall built up artificially. 
This is to preserve and radiate more heat, wj-^g- pj^ 
The wall may be made of green logs if 
no rocks are at hand, but stone is far better. There 
is an Indian saying: *' White man make big fire — sit 
far off; Injun make little fire — sit close „j^. «. „ 
up ! *' This custom has its origin no doubt 
in the hunting and fighting predilections of the 
Amerind, who did not care to betray his whereabouts 
to his enemies or his game. The **Injun fire" is made 
with a centre nucleus, from which the rather small 
sticks radiate and are shoved into the middle as they 
bum off. It is all right when you want to lie low, 
or when you can't ipake any other! 

When a stay of a fortnight or more is projected, 
especially if the camp-ground is witliin easy reach 

1 62 The Way of the Woods 

by waggon or boat, there are practically no limits 
to the comforts that may be planned. The tents 
Permanent or camps may be provided with board or 
Camps plank floors, thus securing dryness and 
cleanliness. . Camp tables and chairs, wall-pockets, 
hangers, meat-safes, patent lighting-apparatus, and a 
magnificent variety of edibles may be taken along. 
A stone or plank pier may be built for the canoes. 
A chopping-block may be set up ; a store-shed built ; 
and every member of the party is welcome to bring 
what Mr. White comically calls his favourite ** patent 
dingbat. " A good-sized table should be built upon 
cleated uprights, with benches of halved logs on each 
side of it. 

In a permanent camp discipline is more important 
than on the Wanderschafty though regularity of 
Camp duties should ever obtain. There is al- 

Discipline ways at least one shiftless, lazy cuss in 
camp who persists in leaving the axe anywhere and 
everywhere and other articles too, and who throws 
garbage and empty cans all over the place. I know 
one wight of this kind who was — ^partially — ^broken 
of his slovenly habits by finding such things as he 
thus left lying about pushed into his sleeping-bag, 
when he wearily essayed to thrust himself between 
the blankets. He was left out of the next party. 

There should be a special dumping-place for tin 
cans not too near the camp, and all the garbage 
that can be burned should be thrown into the fire, 
that best scavenger of all. • 



Woodcraft is the "knowledge and skill in such 
things as belong to woodland life and occupations," 
according to which definition our whole manual is 
but a setting forth of this art. But among woodsmen 
it is understood to be particularly the faculty of 
** being at home" in the wilderness; of living on 
intimate terms with nature ; not only of knowing her 
inmost secrets but also how to use those secrets for 
the forest-dweller*s comfort and safety. 

It is very evident that a degree in such an art can 
be obtained in one university only, the school of the 
woods, and the course is not one year nor two but 
many. No manual can teach it, and all the teacher 
can do is to point out its main features, and state 
a few of the problems to be solved and the best way 
to attack them. 

Woodcraft may be divided into two parts, first, 
ordinary life in camp, comprising shooting and fishing ; 
and secondly, travelling. It is for the most part 
with the second of these sections that we have to do 
here, and under it fall such subjects as walking, fol- 
lowing trails, threading the pathless wilderness, 
signs of direction and weather, getting lost, and the 
use of the compass. For those who follow beaten 
roads, keeping always in touch with civilisation and 


1 64 The Way of the Woods 

sticking closely to their canoes, no very great know- 
ledge of woodcraft is necessary, but the need of it 
increases with every step taken from one's base into 
the wilderness, and the supreme test of it comes when 
one reaches regions that are miles from any trail 
and unknown to the traveller, especially should he 
wander from his chosen path and have to bivouac 
for a night or two before attempting to find camp 
or companions again. 

The reason why a tramp througn the woods does 
a man more good than a walk the whole length of 
Walking Fifth Avenue is, that the townsman walks 
on a level, in consequence of which only 
a limited number of muscles are used to any extent, 
and because he wears heels, upon which he plants 
his feet solidly. It is not necessary for him to strive 
for any more balance than will keep his silk hat on 
straight. With the woodsman, however, the balance 
is everything, because he treads a very uneven road 
and it is a matter of importance where and how he 
puts down each foot. With him walking is a move- 
ment that necessarily exercises every muscle in the 
body, even those of the hands, which he must often 
use to preserve his balance or to push aside ob- 
structing boughs. His limbs are in a perpetual 
state of readiness to move in any conceivable manner, 
as the exigencies of the trail may dictate. This 
and the absence of heels (at least of any height) give 
his gait a certain alert looseness. By instinct he 
knows where to plant his feet, avoiding anything 
loose or slippery and seeking the solid places. If 
he is a hunter he will also go shy of all sticks that 
will snap and rotten logs that will let him through 

Woodcraft 165 

with a crash. His gait is flat-footed ; he feels with his 
toes; he does not turn his toes out; his poise is more 
forward than that of the plaster-walker. Give the 
latter moccasins and a couple of weeks in the woods 
and he will soon gain an inkling of the difference. 

Keep the feet soft by frequent ablutions. Long 
walks with shoes filled with water are bad, as the 
feet easily become chafed. Rather wring Foot 

the stockings out once in a while. If Hygiene 
unused to moccasins bring a pair of light straw in- 
soles with you, or cut a pair out of birch-bark. Have 
stockings and moccasins fit well ; any folds will 
speedily chafe the feet badly. Bathe sore feet at 
night in warm water and apply vaseline or tallow. 
If not well in the morning, coat the inside of the 
stockings, as well as the feet, with soap or tallow. 
A very sore spot should be covered with a piece of 
surgeon's plaster, which will effectually prevent 
chafing. Blisters should be threaded through and 
the thread cut off at each side of the blister, leaving 
a piece within to facilitate the escape of water; cover 
with a vaselined rag. On no account pull any skin 
off. Don't bring corns into the woods; have them 
removed beforehand. If they form put raw pine 
pitch on them. 

Following a trail is easy so long as the path is 
much-travelled, but requires a certain knack to keep 
on if old or "blind," i, e., badly marked, Following 
with growth undisturbed by cutting, or Trails 

freshly grown up. Here close observation is neces- 
sary, to discover traces of former travellers, stunted 
growths, chafed or scraped logs, grown-over blazes. 

1 66 The Way of the Woods 

etc. Most old trails are blazed with the axe, es- 
pecially those that are much used. New ones are 
blazed and bushes are broken down over the path 
every ten or twenty feet, the broken part pointing 
in the direction the trailer is taking. On the return 
he has but to follow the blazes and breaks. Tote- 
roads, logging-roads, and hunters' trails often fork. 
When you pass such a fork place a stick in the road 
pointing to the right direction. When breaking 
a trail for yourself through unfamiliar country blaze 
it like the old ones. Do not make the blazes on the 
side of the trees next the trail, but either on that 
facing you or the opposite one. On the side facing 
you, if you are going from camp, make one blaze, on 
the opposite side two blazes. Thenif you cross the 
trail anywhere from the side you will know which 
direction leads to camp. This rule, however, is 
more honoured in the breach than the observance, and 
must not be blindly relied upon when old trails 
are followed, as most woodsmen blaze merely by 
taking clips at the nearest side of the trees as they 

Never start out" to traverse an unknown part of 
the woods without observing certain old but proved 
In the Path- ^^s» ^^^» though exceptions must some- 
less Wilder- times be made, let them be far between, 
ness The first and most important is to know 

at very least the direction of your designed destina- 
tion and the general character of the country through 
which you must pass. If possible draw a rough 
plan from the description given you, and talk it 
over with your informant. Mark in your mind or 
on the plan as many landmarks as you can hear of, 

Woodcraft 167 

streams, roads, camps, hardwood ridges, swamps, 
lakes, etc. 

Secondly, never, unless absolutely necessary, leave 
camp on such a journey (if at all long) if a storm is 
obviously approaching. One gets lost sooner in bad 
weather, especially in a snowstorm, and it is no joke 
to bivouac without tent or blanket in searching snow, 
rain, or even wind. 

Thirdly, invariably carry in your pocket your com- 
pass and an emergency ration (see Personal Outfit), 
and sling a tin cup at the back of your belt, as a hot 
cup of bouillon, tea, or whiskey cheers and warms 
one up mightily. If slung in front the cup will be 
in the way and will strike against bushes and your 
weapons, making a racket. A good knife you will 
always have with you, and for uncertain journeys 
a hatchet in a belt-sheath is a good article to have 
in case of bivouacking in the open. Your salt-box 
and full waterproof match-box are absolutely in- 
dispensable, especially the latter, as the Irishman 
might say. Ammunition, and possibly a few yards 
of fish-line and a few flies, will form part of your light 
burden. In case your chances of sleeping in the 
open are large, a small tarpaulin or even a light 
blanket may be carried on the back. 

Fourthly, never start out on any journey from 
camp, i, e., in unfamiliar country, without giving 
your companions, should you have any, an idea 
where you are going, at least in a general way. Sig- 
nals may be agreed upon. The old distress signal 
(little observed, however) is a single shot followed, 
after a few moments' pause, by two others in quick 

When you cross brooks note the direction in which 

1 68 The Way of the Woods 

they flow. If you come to a lake and wish to round 
Path- it, keep fairly close to the bank, after 

finding first noting some tree, cove, or island on 
the other side from which you wish to resume your 
journey. It is dangerous to try short cuts by devi- 
ating from the sight of the water, as a lake may have 
hidden bays and a stream awkward loops, so that 
you may be led straight away from its true course, 
and find your short cut the longest way round. 
There are two ways of reaching a given unfamiliar 
point. One is to go by compass or sun and wind, 
and the other to follow certain natural features of 
the landscape that have been described to you. The 
Indians combine both, their innate and practised 
sense of direction greatly aiding them. 

The more familiar you are with trees the lighter 
will be your task, for trees tell the woodsman lots 
of things. The natives, too, in giving directions, 
will be sure to refer to that spruce or that old hack- 
matack. A man should make up as soon as possible 
for the weak points of his university career by getting 
acquainted with trees, shrubs, and berries, as well 
as the animals and birds of the country. The tra- 
ditional fondness of the Yankee for asking questions 
will come in handy here, and the guides are long- 
suffering; in fact they are never averse to showing 
their knowledge. Never pass an unfamiliar tree 
without asking your companion its name, and the 
quality of its wood. All that kind of thing makes 
for good woodcraft. In the matter of landmarks 
choose only very exceptional features, that are not 
likely to be duplicated, or nearly so. After you 
have passed a landmark look back at it, as its ap- 
pearance from the far side is likely to be quite different. 

Woodcraft 169 

Whether you intend returning over the same trail 
or not, blaze a tree now and then ; it may be of help 
in case of accident. 

The "old woodsman" sniflEs with contempt at the 
mention of a compass, and certain it is that the best 
trailers in the world, the Indians, did not How to 
use it, and even to-day hardly ever do so. If Use the 
you have a watch and the sun shines you Compass 
have a compass to hand (see Personal Outfit under 
Watch), and even without the watch the sun will 
tell you the points pretty exactly. There follows 
too another argument: without a compass you will 
strive more eagerly to read the signs of nature and 
will the more readily become a woodsman. Well 
and good; leave your compass at home if you like, 
alongside your watch. But there come times in 
the forest, especially to amateurs, when a compass is 
an almighty handy article. You are lost or nearly 
so, and the sun is hidden in storm-clouds. You are 
nervous and tired, and apt to misread the natural 
signs of direction, never infallible in themselves. 
Let us say (and strongly advise) that you have a 
compass with you. But it will be of no value unless 
you know how to use it. The rules are very simple. 
Having made up your mind in what direction you 
will proceed (Aha!), hold the compass in both hands 
at half-arm's length (keep your rifle and hatchet 
out of the way) and take some natural feature in 
the correct direction as indicated by the compass. 
Go straight towards this landmark, consulting your 
compass every two minutes in case you get out of 
sight of your mark. This frequent consultation is 
the most important point in the use of the compasr. 

1 70 The Way of the Woods 

as many a man has deviated so far from his course 
by a neglect of it as to doubt the accuracy of the 
compass and get lost in earnest. Do not quarrel 
with your compass; in fact never buy one in which 
you have not implicit confidence. If some natural 
feature makes a detour necessary, note some land- 
mark that is big enough to be seen from any direction, 
and which you can find after rounding the obstruction, 
be it lake, ravine, or what not. You can then start 

The parenthetical expletive occurring above calls 
our attention to the one weakness of the compass, 
a very excusable weakness: it cannot tell us in what 
direction we wish to go. We must make up our 
minds on that question without its aid, and this 
indicates how all-important it is to know at least 
the general **lay of the land," before venturing 
into unknown tracts. ^ 

The first is the sun, which rises in the east and sets 
in the west, or, in autumn and winter, a point or so 
Natural to the south of east and west. If there- 
Direction fore in September the sun is at its highest 
Signs and you stand back to it, i. e., so that it 

throws a shadow directly before you, it is evident that 
you are looking north. The other points follow natur- 
ally. At other times of day, except sunrise and sunset, 
it is somewhat more difficult to judge of the exact 
points of the compass, but an approximate estimate 
is always possible. On cloudy days a slight shadow 
will sometimes be cast on the thtimbnail, or other 
bright surface, by a sliver held upright thereon; 
showing about the sun's direction. The next help is 
the wind, but this depends upon the sun. The rule 

Woodcraft 171 

is to observe the direction of the wind at sunrise 
or soon after, and, so long as it holds true, the wind 
will be your compass. If very 
light its direction can often * 

be determined by holding up 
a wetted finger. If the stars * * 
are out the North Star is easily • ^ 

found by following the direction # 

of the two lowest stars com- 
posing **The Dipper*' (''The Great Bear"). (See 

There are several old rules anent trees that are 
generally true, though subject to many exceptions, 
for which reason the traveller will do well to take note 
of them, but not to trust them absolutely if uncorrob- 
orated by other evidence. The oldest says that the 
tips of evergreen trees (in our north woods) generally 
point towards the north. Another has it that the 
bark of well-grown trees is thicker on the north and 
north-eastern sides than elsewhere. A third makes 
moss to be thicker on the north side of trees than on 
the others, a condition following from the longer 
retention of moisture on that side, which is least 
exposed to the sun. 

There are two varieties of getting lost. The less 
serious is to miss one's way for a time, while knowing 
enough of the **lay of the land" to be sure Getting 
of coming out right at last, in other words Lost 

getting temporarily lost. The other is to stray badly 
in an unknown country with the prospect of getting 
deeper into the wilderness and having to shift for 
oneself for a day or two, with worse possibilities 

172 The Way of the Woods 

The first thing to do when one comes, always re- 
luctantly, to the conviction that one is lost is nega- 
tive — don't get flurried. In warm weather the 
experience won't hurt you provided you are healthy, 
for, with any grit and resource, you can live on the 
country for several days with little harm, and survive 
to enjoy the telling about it. In cold weather it is 
a more serious matter, but for this very reason you 
will need all your faculties kept unflurried and in best 
working order. Sit down, put on a pipe, and marshal 
the known facts you have to go by, for there will 
always be at least one or two. You are aware, for 
example, about how far you have come and nearly 
always the general direction. Three courses are 
open to you. You may elect to retrace your steps 
to your, starting-point ; you may choose to go ahead 
with the hope of reaching your destination somehow ; 
or you may camp where you are and wait for the 
morrow. If you are quite lost and the day is draw- 
ing to a close, the last alternative is best. Before 
making up your mind, however, do a lot of thinking, 
and, once again, don't allow any panicky feelings 
to enter your heart. Most of us have got lost; 
the situation is not so tragic as it often appears 
to the tenderfoot. If you are within a few miles 
of camp give the distress signal with your rifle. The 
next thing is to climb a tree or a bluff and have a 
look at the surrounding country; the outlook may 
tell you something valuable. You will see lakes, 
watercourses, ridges, etc. Very likely you will at 
least learn in what direction ttot to go. If you left 
a known trail within an hour or so, try to retrace 
your steps for about that length of time, and then, 
after carefully noting the place by landmarks, make 

Woodcraft 1 73 

a wide circle with a view to striking the path. Fail- 
ing this remember what you saw from the lookout 
tree and decide upon a course down some valley 
that evidently leads to the low land. It is a fact 
that, if you go far enough down -stream, you will come 
to civilisation or its beginnings, though this may' 
take longer than your strength will allow. A log- 
road offers a chance for good walking and may lead 
to some camp, old or new, or it may also bring up at 
some lake, which the loggers crossed on the ice. 
In that case go round the lake in the hope of finding 
another road on the opposite side. When you have 
done your best and there remains to you only an hour 
or so of daylight, make your preparations for a 
bivouac. One comes reluctantly to this decision, 
but the real sportsman nevertheless welcomes it 
as a true and interesting test of his abilities.* To be 
"up against it*' is always a joy to him. 

The problem is to secure shelter and warmth, and 
your preparations will last at least a full hour if you 
have a hatchet, much longer without it; ^, 
therefore begin betimes. If you can find 
a big rock with a flat side build a lean-to (see Tem- 
porary Camps) about six feet from this side. With 
a hatchet poles are soon cut and hemlock, spruce, or 
fir bark riven from the trees in quantities large enough 
to cover the back. If not then cover with evergreen 
boughs. Your fire is built against the big rock and 
the heat will be radiated into the lean-to in a most 
comforting degree. If this fire and camp combina- 
tion can be secured the traveller is very fortunate, 
and his only care will be to have enough fuel on hand 
for the whole night, for it is most disagreeable to 

174 The Way of the Woods 

have to get up in the dark and cold to "rustle" more. 
If you are axeless you will practically be reduced to 
fallen wood, old pine stumps being best. Very long 
logs and poles can be laid across the fire and burnt 
.in two. Whatever your fuel, have enough. If the 
ground is wet build a fire first where you intend 
to lie (before putting up the lean-to), and dry it out. 
You need not wait until the embers are absolutely 
dead, but heap boughs over the place, for a bed. 
If the night bids fair to be cold it is better to lie 
sidewise to the fire. In autumn or winter a good 
"wrinkle*' is to place a number of stones about six or 
eight inches in diameter next the fire, so that they shall 
get hot. These can then be placed at the feet, back, 
etc., as needed, and mil be found wonderful com- 
forters.^ When a stone loses its heat it is replaced 
near the fire and a hot one taken. If, too hot wrap 
the stone in birch-bark, or wait for it to cool oflE. 

If no rock or large log fireback can be found on 
suitable ground (look out for the wind) one must be 
made by piling up rocks or logs. Stake down the 
backlogs and place rocks in two parallel columns 
running towards the camp, for the wood to rest on, 
so that the fire will be rather above you as you lie, 
giving more heat and less smoke. 

If snow is on the ground clear ofl a space large 
enough for camp and fire-place. This space is best 
made wedge shape, the fire being placed at the apex. 
The higher the snow-walls the better, as they help to 
confine the heat. The snow may also be used to 
make a foundation for the lean-to. Remember your 
boyhood days. Even an Eskimo igloo is a possibility 
if the snow is soft, but it should have an open front 
to let in the heat, as a real igloo, with a hole in the top 

Woodcraft 175 

to let out the smoke, is long and difficult in the making. 
Before dark look for water and have a cupful on 
hand for the night. 

The lost man with only an emergency lunch in his 
pocket will instinctively look about him for chances 
to replenish his larder, being meanwhile - . 

very economical of his present store. If 
he has a ** shooting-iron" with him all will be well, 
for he will be in very hard luck if he cannot bag enough 
to eat among porcupines, squirrels, grouse, hares, 
and many other animals and birds not reckoned as 
game, not to speak of the chance of killing a deer, 
bear, or even moose. (For a man lost in the forest 
the game laws are non-existent ; his whole life for the 
time being is but the cult of one other law— that of 
self-preservation.) Tough and unpalatable birds, 
like owls, sheldrakes, and crows, go better roasted than 
boiled, which is an advantageous fact for our voyager. 
If it is spring he will know where to look for eggs. 
He should have a piece of fish-line and some hooks or 
flies in his pocket, in which case he will have trout, 
or at least perch, for dinner. Frogs' legs are tidbits; 
turtles good. Some kind of berries will likely be in 
season, and his dessert is assured. Probably he will 
come out of the scrape with a determination to make 
himself more familiar with the things of the forest 
that may be eaten, for he will avoid many a beautiful 
red or blue berry for fear of poison; and he will do 
right, for in his situation it is better not to run the 
risk of sickness and consequent weakness. In regard 
to edible plants in the wilderness there is little use in 
describing the thousand and one varieties to the 
average camper, for he would not be able to find or 


176 The Way of the Woods 

recognise a half-dozen of them without long study 
and experience. In my opinion lists of such things 
are hardly more than encyclopaedic in value. The 
woodsman learns to know only those plants, berries, 
etc., that are actually pointed out to him in the forest. 
Among growing things that are of practical benefit 
to the lost man we may mention acorns (eat roasted), 
other nuts, flags, dandelion, marshmallow, milkweed, 
many kinds of ferns when young, and many wild 
fruits, mostly berries. It will be seen that the 
chances of securing a good deal of food, before 
attacking one's belt and moccasins, are good. 

It is a good plan, on coming into a new country, 
to inquire of the natives regarding the prevailing 
N^ Weather weather signs and probabilities. For in- 
Indications stance, there is always one wind that com- 
• monly brings rain, another that prevails only during 
fair weather, etc. Every district, too, has its old 
traditional signs, such as, for fair weather: cobwebs 
on wet grass; crimson sunset after a bad day; rainbow 
at night; heavy dew in the evening; swallows flying 
high. Bad weather indications: woodpeckers and 
bluejays very noisy ; swallows flying low ; sun shining 
through watery haze ; rainbow in the morning ; a halo 
round the moon; dark clouds blown rapidly under 
lighter ones. 

These are but a few of the ancient rules, many of 
them being good enough, at least, to take fair warning 




Nothing so distingtdshes the pseudo-sportsman 
as his utter subordination of all phases of nature to 
his every whim. He is the man who fails to put out 
his camp-fires; who fills his creel with fingerlings; 
who pots robins and blackbirds with his .22 and after- 
wards boasts of his slaughter; who shoots and catches 
more than he needs of game and fish ; who leaves his 
camping-grounds in a filthy condition ; who in a word 
inscribes on his banner the arch-selfish motto of Louis 
XV. , * * After us the deluge ! * * He is truly a disgusting 
personage in the eyes of the genuine woodsman and 
nature-lover. At bottom, however, aside from his 
essentially vulgar composition, he is generally only 
the result of the faulty education of the present, for 
which we all in turn are responsible. It is an extra- 
'ordinary thing that in our cotmtry, where undoubtedly 
more money is spent for education than anyivhere 
else, two weaknesses stand out prominently: the 
inability of even the great majority of college-bred 
men to write and speak really good English, and the 
ignorance shown on every hand of the common facts 
of nattiral history. The causes of these weaknesses 
are not the same, in fact they would seem to be widely 
different, for, while English receives far more atten- 
tion here than in British institutions, natural history 
la 177 

1 78 The Way of the Woods 

gets practically none at all. Does it not seem ridicu- 
lous, to put it mildly, that ninety per cent, of American 
youths graduate from school or college taking with 
them the fond beliefs that the porcupine throws its 
\ quills, that the cat sucks the baby's breath, and that 
\pvery hawk is a ** hen-hawk* 7 The college man is 
taught political economy, but has to learn later in 
life from the Audubon Society and the Smithsonian 
experts how intimately connected with national 
economy is the preservation of our birds. It would 
be a waste of words in this business age to speak of 
the aesthetic side of the subject, but it does seem a 
wonderful and a disgraceful thing that most of us 
go through life cheek-by-jowl with thousands of 
animals and birds, while at the same time nine 
tenths of us could probably give a less accurate de- 
scription of their habits than we could of the harpies 
or the phoenix or the chimaera! A ** well-educated" 
person would scorn a fellow-man who displayed 
ignorance of the latter beast, but would be more 
than likely himself to be quite unable to distinguish 
between a weasel and a ferret, or a junco and a 

The remedy for this faulty education lies primarily 
in the hands of parents. The father can, if he will, 
easily train his boys and girls to habits of reticence 
in taking life, both by example and instruction. In 
our country the mass of family bread-winners have 
little time to devote to their children, but even these 
can and should see to it that their boys are provided 
with the right kind of books. Those of us who be- 
lieve that the millennium is still some distance ofE, 
and that human nature will not be essentially modified 
for at least a few centuries to come, look with favour 

Nature Protection 179 

upon the encouragement of our schoolboys to use 
firearms, of course under proper restraint and wise 
instruction. There is nothing so stimulating to a 
boy's independence as to place a gun in his hand and 
let him roam the fields and woods. But parents in 
most cases confine their efforts to equipping their 
boys with firearms and ammunition, and do not even 
place a copy of the State game-laws in their hands. 
The natural consequence is that the youngsters go 
afield and bang at anything and everything that 
runs, flies, or swims. Habits of slaughter and the 
contempt for law are inculcated just at the formative 
period. Every boy to whom a gim or small rifle is 
given should be told exactly what game he may 
shoot and how much of it, and his father should 
scrupulously investigate the bag made. Best of all, 
his first hunts should be in the company of an elder 
sportsman. In a word an effort should be made, 
by showing interest in the boy's improvement in 
shooting, by warning him against the killing of 
beneficial and ornamental creatures, by appealing 
to his sense of fair-play and teaching him to look 
down upon the promiscuous killer as a self -exposed 
duffer, to make a true sportsman of him. There 
is no need to despair if he brings in a chipmunk or 
even a robin from one of his first expeditions. A 
good fright or two should improve his conduct; if 
not his gun should be taken from him for a time, 
or, if he prove incorrigible, then permanently, or 
until the lapse of a few years brings discretion and 
self-control. This last word is, after all, the key to 
the whole situation. Self-control is the most im- 
portant trait of a good citizen, especially in a de- 
mocracy; and the earlier in life a lad is taught this 

i8o The Way of the Woods 

incomparable virtue the better for him and for the 
world. In the United States I know of three sports 
that will teach a boy self-control most efficaciously; 
they are the ownership and use of firearms, boxing, 
and the game of football. The opponents of football 
have failed to recognise in it this highly important 
educational function, though it must be confessed 
that, until recent years, the authorities placed alto- 
gether too little restraint upon the players. In boxing 
and American football the opportunities for losing 
one's temper are especially plentiful, and, since 
keeping it is an absolute necessity if ability is to 
be attained, the educational value of these sports 
is evident. With shooting, caution, respect for law, 
and the bridling of the primitive killing-instinct are 
attained, as well as exercise in the open air, training 
for eye and hand, and a knowledge of natural his- 
tory and mechanics. 

I take the opportunity here of quoting from a 
recent letter of mine printed in The Outlook, on the 
morality of such sports as shooting and fishing. 

The critic is commonly a man who is not himself in- 
terested in sport. He forgets that angling and the chase 
have a venerable history, beginning with the first efforts 
of man to provide food for his family, and that their de- 
velopment has been steadily along the line of march of civ- 
ilisation, until at the present time the American sportsman, 
who abhors the slaughtering game drives of imperial hunts- 
men and British pheasant and partridge shooters, stands as 
a model of the humane woodsman, who kills as little as pos- 
sible and always with the minimum of suffering to the quarry. 
The critic cannot possibly appreciate the love and interest 
of the sportsman for the implements of his art, their develop- 
ment, intrinsic beauty, and delicacy of workmanship; the 
engrossing interest inspired by observing the working of new 
rods, guns, etc., the incomparable fascination of the study 

Nature Protection iSi 

of the habits of fish and animals, which must be mastered 
before success can be hoped for in the chase ; the pleasure of 
watching the intelligent working of his canine friends; the 
cumulative joys offered by an expedition to good trout 
waters, with its delicious anticipation, the delight of the 
preparation of and addition to the tackle and outfit, the 
crescendo of interest caused by the approach to the grounds, 
the choice of implements, and at last the supreme joy of 
the actual practice of an art every detail of which has 
been perhaps for years, a well of study and delight. 
The layman cannot feel a tithe of the fascination, the com- 
pelling witchery, of all those things so beautifully set forth 
in Kipling's "calling of the red gods." He forgets that 
woodland sport takes its devotees to the pure bosom of 
nature, whose every phase is replete with beauty, with the 
spirit of human heroism and wholesome bodily effort, of 
good fellowship, of love for nature and forgetfulness of the 
unspeakably disgusting vulgarities of the '* civilised" battle 
for life. He refuses to believe that some men crave the 
strenuous, and that for these photography or pedestrianism 
alone will not suffice to allow the working off of energy or 
the proper storing up of health for the unnatural tasks which 
our artificial Ufe demands of all save an infinitesimal few. 
He cannot see the charm of self-discipline in nerve-rack- 
ing moments when the sudden puUing-himself-together for 
a cool and supreme action regulates a man's mental poise 
for perhaps a lifetime. 

The sportsman would have many other things to say in his 
defence. He would adduce the beauty of the trophies, the 
delicacy of game food eaten in the woods, but very particu- 
larly the fact that he never kills an animal or a fish the body 
of which he cannot use legitimately, that he limits his bag 
strictly, and that he kills, in the great majority of cases,, 
quickly and without pain. 

And now, having enumerated a few of the advantages 
of these pastimes which make healthier bodies, purer hearts, 
and better citizens, the sportsman, if he is really frank, 
will confess that the one poisoned swamp in his paradise lies 
in the act of killing. But, while admitting that this is a sad 
and regrettable necessity, he sincerely and undoubtingly 
believes that it cannot for a moment outweigh the benefits 
and delights of legitimate hunting and fishing. 

1 82 The Way of the Woods 

In regard to the question of "fair play/' if that were 
strictly and logically adhered to, what would become of the 
slavery of domestic animals? One must admit that man 
tyrannises over them, and also that wild animals are no match 
for modem weapons. If, however, fair play means more 
than equal chances for the game to escape, then nearly all 
hunting and fishing, when legitimately practiced, are fair, 
since the quarry actually does escape far more often than it is 
brought to bag. If this were not so, half the joy of the chase 
would vanish. Res severa verum gaudium. 

Possibly the sportsman's justification may be found in the 
above, but will a people accustomed for ages to naagnify 
the moral (not to say sentimental) at the expense of the 
aesthetic be able to render it justice? 

It is by no means only the small boy and the 
ignorant and irresponsible "dago'' who are given 
to shooting at all kinds of beasts and birds indis- 
criminately. Business-men from the great cities, 
otherwise intelligent and soft-hearted, seem to find 
satisfaction in potting blackbirds and even sparrows, 
for the sole purpose of exhibiting their marksmanship. 
I have known them to descend five miles of a river 
and shoot at every bird seen with their 2 2 -calibre 
rifles, fortunately with little effect. They are on a 
well-earned holiday and the spirit of don't-care 
possesses them. Such people can only be remon- 
strated, with, or, better still, treated with ridicule 
and contempt. The more reasonable among them 
may be led into better paths by interesting them in 
some one of the many societies for the protection of 
the natural world, a good word for which I wish to 
speak here, for I consider it the duty of every citizen 
who can possibly afford it to contribute in this 
manner to the marvellous work these organisations 
are doing. Among them the one that appeals to the 
greatest number is *'The National Association of 

Nature Protection 183 

Audubon Societies for the Protection of Wild Birds 
and Animals," a league the length of whose name 
properly typifies the really gigantic work for good it 
has and must continue to do. I have no space here to 
enumerate the stock arguments even of the bird- 
protectors alone, but two things are admitted even 
by the ignorant: that, unless biMs are protected, 
they will soon be exterminated, and that, should 
this happen, not only would our fields and woods 
be robbed of their most beautiful ornaments and 
music, but it would represent a loss of uncounted 
millions of dollars, for people are but just beginning 
to appreciate the work of the birds in keeping down 
insect-life that is the agriculturist's great enemy. 
Join the Audubon Society, I say, and contribute 
to a great national economical movement, and to the 
continuance of the grandest and sweetest series of 
symphony concerts to be heard under the canopy 
of Heaven, and free concerts at that ! ^ 

Another national organisation of vast importance 
is the "American Forestry Association" (address: 
Washington, D. C), which has for its object the 
rescue of our magnificent forests, and consequently 
of the game harboured by them, from the lumber 
grabbers and robbers, who will, unless checked, 
soon denude our country of these priceless trea- 
sures, that can never be regained if once lost. Only 
future generations will fully appreciate the efforts 
of President Roosevelt and others in the establish- 
ment of national parks and the protection of our 

There are many other praiseworthy leagues and 

* Write for information to William Dutcher, 141 Broadway, 
New York City. 

i84 The Way of the Woods 

clubs of minor scope, and local game societies are to be 
found in many counties as well as States. 

But let not your efforts to protect game be confined 
to membership in some of these organisations. That 
would be too much like the Christianity of the average 
city man to-day, a liberal offering of cash being held 
all-sufficient for tiie soul's solace. See to it that no 
blackbird, no beautiful and interesting Canada jay 
(moose-bird), nor any other living thing falls to your 
gun that you do not wish to use either to eat or to 
mount. But eating and mounting are no excuse 
for killing legally protected birds and animals. Every 
camper who carries a gun or rifle should possess a 
copy of the game-laws of the State or province where 
he camps. Such can be had of the secretaries of the 
different game-societies, or an excellent and authori- 
tative r^sumd of all American and Canadian game- 
laws may be had in the shape of a copy of Game 
Laws in Brief, published by Forest and Stream (twenty- 
five cents). There are many creatures recognised as 
noxious to mankind that may be killed with impunity 
and a good conscience, but let your law be to kill 
nothing unless you are quite sure that it is on 
this black-list. The best rule is to read and digest 
some good natural history manual, such as Homa- 
day's American Natural History, which is written 
in a popular style, but is authoritative none the less. 
Chapman's Birds of Eastern North America is a fund 
of interesting and useful knowledge and should be 
in every summer camp where any books are kept. 
Among the creatures on the north woods black- 
list may be mentioned among birds the owls, the 
Cooper's and sharp-shinned hawks, the goshawk, the 
loon, the English sparrow; among animals mice, rats, 

Nature Protection 185 

mink, weasels, bears, foxes, wildcats, Canada lynxes, 
skunks, raccoons, woodchucks, and porcupines. 
But it must be remembered that our hostility to 
these animals, or most of them, applies only to 
the wooded districts, for in a strictly farming 
country no hawks, owls, weasels, or other mice- 
destro3dng creatures should be hurt, in spite of 
their occasional raids on the hennery, for the 
good they do to the agriculturist very far out- 
values the loss of a few chickens. In a game 
country, however, where there are few or no farmers 
to benefit, these creatures destroy a great number 
of game-birds and animals, and should be made 
war on. But, again, the fur-bearers among them 
may not, according to law, be killed in summer, and 
their fur would be useless then anyhow. As to 
porcupines, a long residence in the woods has con- 
vinced me, in spite of many sentimental friends, 
that they should be killed on sight. No one who 
has seen the result of their ravages among trees in 
Maine, New Brunswick, or Nova Scotia can fail to 
sympathise with the woodsman's hostility to these 
otherwise harmless and droll beasts. The fact that 
their livers are among the delicacies of the woods 
may serve to console our soft-hearted friends for 
' * porky 's * * death. In very remote, almost inaccessible 
regions it is supposed to be right to spare porcupines, 
on account of the possible food they would furnish 
starving men ; but it will tax our memories to recol- 
lect many such instances, if any, for porcupines do 
not live in a country where one would be likely to 
starve unless it be in midwinter. 

The growing interest in photography is having a 
most wholesome effect on our attitude towards 

1 86 The Way of the Woods 

nature, and cannot be too warmly encouraged. It 
would be better, at least for spring and summer trips, 
to leave all "shooting-irons" at home, unless the 
members of the party have attained to such a high 
degree of sportsmanship that they can and will curb 
all inclination to shoot at creatures that should not 
be harmed. The .22-calibre rifle in a camp is a source 
of never-ending amusement, but its use should be 
almost entirely confined to the target. 

The camper should also be filled with a wholesome 
respect for his forest-home. Often this is not the 
case. The woods are all round us; we may take 
what we will for the asking; and in consequence we 
cut and slash with no regard for economy or decency. 
Once more : after us the deluge ! Fully to appreciate 
the rich blessings of freedom to cut as much wood as 
we need, all campers should experience an outing in 
Great Britain, or, better still, in Germany, where one 
camps (in the latter country at least) under the grudg- 
ing eye of a rural policeman or forester, and with his 
hand, so to speak, on one's collar. Cut so much as a 
twig and — ^but the consequences are too harrowing! 
Verily it is good to live in the north woods and breathe 
its freedom from restraint, care, worry, and Mrs. 
Grundy. Let us discipline ourselves ; overeating of free- 
dom is followed by a very bad moral indigestion. "The 
master,' said Goethe, '* shows himself within limits." 

Let us all do our best to aid such men as President 
Roosevelt, Mr. Cleveland, Mr. Hallock, Mr. Samuels, 
Mr. Caspar Whitney, Mr. Homaday, and others, 
together with our sporting editors and the hard- 
working officials of the Federal and State governments 
(and our Canadian brothers, too), to save for pos- 
terity our forests and our fauna. 





The game fish of the northern woods include the 
SalmonidcB, the basses, and the EsocidcB. In the 
salmon family the trout easily holds first place, if 
only for the reason that its pursuit occupies the 
majority of wilderness anglers, the magnificent 
sport of salmon fishing being confined to a fortunate 
few, on account of the expense entailed. The bronze- 
armoured bass, though a harder fighter for its inches 
than the trout, is found more in settled districts 
and is less a denizen of forest waters. Among the 
EsocidcB are the mascalonge, the pike, and the pickerel, 
all of them, like the bass, not so much wilderness 
fish as the trout. 

Of the trouts of the north woods the brook trout 
{Salvelinus fontinalis) is the commonest and most 
important. Next comes the great lake trout or 
togue {Cristivomer namaycush), which is not gen- 
erally taken with the fly. Other less common 
fish are the oquassa or blue-back trout of Maine, 
the Sunapee Lake trout (Salvelinus alpinus aureolus), 
and several species of the far north. More important 
than these last are soon likely to be the European 
brown trout {Salmo fario) and the rainbow trout 
{Salmo irideus) from the Pacific slope, both being 
large and gamey fish capable of thriving in waters 


igo The Way of the Woods • 

warmer than those required by the more beautiful 
and livelier brook trout, so that, as the pulp-mills 
increase and the lumbermen gradually but surely 
denude the earth of forests, we shall in time have 
to be satisfied with these importations. Let us be 
duly thankful, even while we weep at the fate of 
our fontinalis, that the substitutes are so good. 


The degree of completeness of a fisherman's 
equipment depends upon his love of the art and the 
time he is able to bestow on it. One who spends a 
fortnight at a mountain hotel and takes along a rod 
with a view to visiting occasionally a possible near-by 
brook will be satisfied with the simplest outfit, 
though the rule should always obtain that the simpler 
the equipment the better must be its quality, since 
there is no reserve tackle to fall back upon. The 
genuine angler, who goes far and stays long, and 
takes a keen interest in every phase of his art, will 
not be satisfied with less than three, or at least two 
rods, several reels, and a generous supply of other 
tackle, to fit all conditions and to be fortified against 

This is the age of specialisation, and whereas in the 
"good old days" many a fisherman was content 
to use one rod for both trout and bass, fly or bait, 
on mountain brook or lordly stream, nowadays the 
expert selects his rod for the particular fish and waters 
to be fished with as much care as a society belle 
bestows upon her toilette for this or that social 
function. The result is that, strictly speaking, the 
ideal "all-round rod," so much sought after by 

Fishing 191 

beginners, is not to be found. Since modem rods 
are very light and easy to transport, it is better to 
have two rods, one for fly-fishing and the other for 
bait or trolling, in case one visits waters where more 
than one sort of angling is practised. Nevertheless, 
if the fisherman is not fastidious (here's hoping he will 
become so!), he may be suited with some one of 
the several ** combination-rods*' offered by the dealers. 
A rather strong, stiffish fly-rod can be made into 
an excellent all-round rod by the addition of a third 
somewhat shorter top for bait-fishing and a fourth 
for trolling. I own one of bethabara (noibwood) 
which weighs with lancewood fly-top seven ounces. 
It has two second joints (''double-barrelled") and 
several varieties of top, and, though not perfect for 
any style of fishing, it is good for any and all, except, 
of course, for large salmon. 

The well-equipped modem fresh-water angler 
should however have separate rods, lines, reels, and 
flies or baits for salmon-fishing, fly-fishing for trout, 
bass, or grayling, trolling, bait-casting, and, finally, 
for coarse fish generally, and even these several classes 
are subdivided into . categories, according to the size 
of the fish sought or the character of the waters. 

In any case remember that accidents to fishing- 
tackle are inevitable and do not go into the woods 
without spare reels, lines, etc., the quantity depend- 
ing upon the length of the trip and the opportunities 
for getting reserve stuff. 


Fly-Tackle: Rods 
American fly-rods are made of split and glued 

192 The Way of the Woods 

bamboo, bethabara or noibwood, greenheart, and 
. lancewood. Other materials are used, but 
have been generally condemned by expert 
anglers as too heavy or stiff. As for a steel rod, I 
have yet to meet the good fly-fisherman who would 
accept one as a gift, though they are used for bass. 
Four fifths of all fly-rods now used are constructed of 
split bamboo, which may be recommended as the 
best material, both on account of toughness and 
resiliency. The split bamboo was first made in the 
first half of the last century in England, but has been 
developed by Americans, who boast supremacy 
in its manufacture. Of late, however, the best 
British firms, such as Hardy and Malloch, claim 
full equality. If a British rod is bought do not allow 
that monstrosity, the steel core, to be included, nor 
patent lock-joints. 

The well-established rule is to buy nothing cheap, 
especially in split bamboo. An excellent bamboo rod 
can be had for $15.00 and a fair one for 
$10.00, though I would not recommend the 
latter. Exceptions aside, it is better to take greenheart 
or lancewood in the cheaper grades. Greenheart is less 
used in America than in England though a tougher and 
better wood. The best lancewoods and greenhearts 
cost $4.00 to $8.00. Of course if you can afford it buy 
the best rod in the market and pay $25.00 or $30.00 
for it. If, however, you are a beginner choose at 
first rather a cheaper rod, for you are likely to abuse 
it before attaining to proficiency. A poor rod is 
good enough to smash and is good to learn on, as a 
fine rod is far easier to handle, so that when one is 
afterwards purchased the reward will be doubly great. 

Fishing 193 

Begin then with cheaper goods and purchase better 
gradually as your improvement warrants. 

Anent the question what make of rod to purchase it 
behooves the adviser to practise strict catholicity. It 
is obviously quite impossible to prove that Where 
the wares of one first-class manufacturer to Buy 
outclass those of another, although in this connection 
the catalogue claims of the several firms afford very 
amusing reading. **We guarantee these rods to be 
the best . . . made, except only our Eight-Strip, 
etc.,'* sa}^ one New York firm, while another's 
**are infinitely superior to anything in the market 
exclusive of" another of their own make. A third 
firm says, **Our aim was to produce, not as good a 
rod as others, but the best. This we have accomplished, 
etc." And this bombastic boasting comes, not from 
charlatans, but the three supposedly best fishing- 
tackle firms in the metropolis! Their claims serve 
to offset each other and leave the perplexed pur- 
chaser in the same plight as before. As a matter of 
fact they are all good. By the time that the novice 
has become a veteran he will have plenty of ideas 
himself on the subject of the best make; until then 
it doesn't much matter. 

Among Eastern firms carrying first-class rods and other 
tackle may be mentioned: in New York: Abercrombie & 
Fitch, Abbey & Imbrie, W. Mills & Son, Von Lengerke, 
Detmold & Co., *'Abercrombie*s,** E. Vom Hofe; in Boston: 
Iver Johnson Co., W. Read & Sons, Dame, Stoddard & Co.; 
in Amherst. Mass.: Montague City Rod Co.; in Worcester, 
Mass.: Burtis; in Manchester, Vt. : Chas. F. Orvis; in St. John, 
N. B.: C. Baillie, and D. Scribner & Co.; in Halifax: A. M. 
Bell; in Montreal: T. W. Boyd; in Quebec: V. & B. Company. 
Of course these are by no means the only first-class houses; 


194 The Way of the Woods 

in fact nearly every city, especially those near the fishing 
•ections, has at least one good tackle firm. I have personally 
used rods made (or sold) by the New York and Boston firms 
mentioned above and all are good. 

It goes without saying, that a complete novice, 
without the help of a knowing friend, is quite inca- 
pable of testing a rod and is therefore in 
the hands of the dealer. Later, when he 
again purchases, he will joint the rod in the shop, 
attach a reel of the proper weight, and whip it 
through the air a number of times, as if in the act of 
casting, with a view to testing its balance and action, 
and ascertaining whether it feels right ^ in other words 
is the rod for him. He should hold it horizontally, 
look along it from butt to tip, and slowly revolve 
it; if well-made its slight curve downward will remain 
exactly constant. If he is very careful he will try 
a few casts with a line, and he is quite justified in 
refusing to buy without this full ** whipping test,*' 
especially in the case of a high-priced rod, for not 
every good rod fits every man. A good method 
in choosing a cheaper grade is to ask your dealer to 
set up one of his best, so that it may be tried alter- 
nately with the cheaper rods, in order to select the 
one nearest to it in action. The inexperienced should 
always buy a rod from a maker or dealer of 

The angler in American waters will be likely to do 
much of his angling in rapid brooks, for which reason 
Length and he should choose a rod that is a bit stiffish 
Weight rather than very whippy, especially if 
he has but one. If the fishing is to be done on small 
brooks, such as in the Massachusetts Berkshires, 

Fishing 195 

the right thing is a rod from eight and a half to nine 
feet long and weighing from four to six ounces. It 
should be rather stifE, as the overgrown banks often 
prevent the use of a landing-net and therefore make 
the "derricking out'* of the catch imperative. On 
large streams or lakes the rod may go to ten feet 
and seven ounces, or, for a strong wrist, ten and a half 
feet and seven and a half ounces. A very fine rod 
is a split bamboo nine or nine and a half feet long 
and from four to five ounces in weight, but such 
light rods should be of the best workmanship and 
are therefore expensive. A trout rod over ten and 
a half feet is practically never seen now on this side 
of the ocean, and this is long enough in all conscience. 
After all an ounce more or less in a rod is not nearly 
so important as the balance. A well-balanced rod 
that fits the hand is far less tiring than a poorly 
balanced one a couple of ounces lighter. Any addi-. 
tional weight should, however, lie under or behind 
the hand. 

Nearly all American rods are made in three pieces: 
the butt, second joint, and top,* an extra top always 
being furnished with every rod. One 
need not concern oneself about the style ^^^^ ^ 

of ferrule used in joining the parts, whether plain 
insertion, dowel, or some patent "lock- joint.*' In a 
good American rod every joint will be strong and 
fast; at least in all my experience I have never found 

iJn order to prevent confusion I choose here and elsewhere 
the proper designation for the upper joint of a rod, as the 
American innovation, "tip," is, correctly speaking, the 
metal or agate ring through which the line passes as it leaves 
the rod, and not the whole upper joint. 

196 The Way of the Woods 

one that was at all loose, and can therefore see no 
advantage in adding unnecessary weight in the form 
of some extra lock or grip. It throws an unfavourable 
light upon the quality of British ferrules that these 
devices are at home only on the other side of the 
water. The simple joint is preferable to the dowel, 
as the latter must increase the stifEness of the rod 
by lengthening the joint, the ideal rod being in one 
piece (spliced) with an equal bend from butt-cap 
to tip, like the Castle Conndl rods of Ireland. One- 
piece rods are, however, so difficult to transport that 
they are seldom made in this country. Welted ferrules 
are generally furnished with good rods. 

Nearly all ferrules are made of highly polished 
metal, so that they tend to frighten the fish ; therefore 
have them oxidised or otherwise dulled. 

Gtiides, through which the line passes from reel to 
tip, are made in several styles, all rods of cheap or 
Guides medium grade being furnished with rings 
of white metal whipped to the rod with 
silk by means of ** keepers.*' More expensive rods 
generally have some kind of standing guides, the 
so-called ** snake guide'* being the favourite, made 
of steel or German silver. The problem is to reduce 
to a minimtim the friction of the line against the 
guides, to facilitate casting. For this purpose guides 
are often made of very smooth substances, such as 
composition ** adamant" and the much more expen- 
sive agate, the latter, almost frictionless, being the 
best. These substances, however, increase the weight 
of the rod, and hence, except occasionally nearest the 
reel, they are seldom used on fly-rods. It is of decided 
advantage to have an adamant or agate guide next the 

Pishing 197 

reel, as the line forms a considerable angle with the 
guide at this point, thus increasing the friction. On 
very light fly-rods, they are not used. 

Fly-tips are generally made of white metal rings, 
but one of adamant, or, better still, agate, is to be 
recommended, since the c^reatest amount 
of friction is generated here. In casting ^ 

the use of agate tips and first guides makes a very 
noticeable difference, while they save much wear on 
the line. In buying metal ring tips get the very best, 
as the cheaper grades wear out the line grievously. 

The wrappings on rods are of the finest and strongest 
silk, and are whipped on the rod, if it be a high-class 
bamboo, at intervals of not over an inch, Wraooine 
the object being strength, since the six or 
eight strips of which bamboo rods are composed are 
otherwise held together only by glue. It is the unfor- 
tunate custom of makers to deck out their rods with 
several different-coloured silks of the gaudiest tints, 
which, added to the varnished brightness of the aver- 
age bamboo, completes a rod which scintillates in the 
sun like a heliograph, and is apt to frighten all the 
trout in a pool into fits. Greenheart and bethabara 
rods have the advantage -of being wrapped in silk 
of soberer colours, a benefit too often neutralised by 
the use of polished metals, such as German silver 
and nickel, for ferrules and reel-mountings, which 
should be oxidised (see Repairing), 

Nearly every maker has some patent method of 
fastening the reel to the rod, nearly all being efficient, 


The Way of the Woods 


though some admit the use of certain kinds of 
reels only. The simplest are likely to be the lightest 
and best. Very light rods are often equipped 
with merely a socket for one end of the 
reel cross-piece and a sliding ring to 
go over the other, the natural wood 
of the rod being left without reel- 
seat. Reel-seats are generally of 
metal, though hard rubber is lighter 
and quite strong enough. 


The butt of the rod is covered with 
the butt-cap, which in this country is 

generally made of thin 

metal, so thin in fact that 
it easily dents, or, in the case of a fall 
by its owner, is even smashed to 
pieces. A rod, is, to be sure, not 
meant to be used as a staff, but there 
are many times, as when balancing 
on the slippery rocks of northern 
streams, when it is involuntarily so 
used to avoid a nasty fall. In such 
cases the rubber button which the 
British screw to the butts of their 
rods seems an excellent thing, being 
inexpensive and easily replaced. For 
light rods they would be unnecessary. 

Trout-rod handles are made of jj^j^^j^ ^^j^ g^^^ 
many materials, such as cork, wood. Button 

snake-skin, cork or wood 

wound with cane or with twine, hard 
rubber, and several kinds of composition. Of all 

Fig. 29. — British 



these the "solid cork'' handle is considered the most 
satisfactory, especially for lighter rods, as it is very 
light and offers a good grip. It is made of a number of 
graded disks of cork fitted together round the rod, 

which passes through holes in 

their centres. Another sort of 

cork handle, used only in cheap 

rods, is made of thin sheets of 

cork glued over swelled wooden 

handles. These latter, called 

simply "cork handles'* in the 

catalogues, are very flimsy. The 

real cork handle is always 

called "solid" in American 

catalogues. If your rod is 

equipped with a cheap sheet- 
cork handle have it wound with 

thin twine, or do it yourself, 

and you will have an excellent 

handle. Hard rubber, celluloid, 
_ and most polished woods are 

Swelled ^^^ slippery for this purpose; 
Handle snake-skin affords a good grip 

but wears poorly. The gently 
swelled handle is pretty universal for 
single-handed rods, but "shaped" 
handles, swelled at each end as well as 
in the middle, are sometimes made, 
especially in England. 

Fig. 31. — Shaped 

This is a short handle into which the whole of the 
rest of the rod fits. Its principal- ad van- independent 
tages are best described by Mr. H. P. Handle 
Wells in Fly-Rods and Fly-Tackle: 

200 The Way of the Woods 

**Use a handle with a ferrule immediately above it — or, 
better still, sunk into it — to receive the butt joint, the whole 
so arranged that while the handle remains still, the butt 
joint can be turned readily, so as to present the rings either 
beneath or on top of the rod. One handle will thus do for 
all single-handed fly-rods, heavy or light. You can cast 
"wTth the rings underneath or above, while the reel always 
remains in its normal and only convenient position — ^that 
below the hand and under the handle — and you can change 
from one to the other as your fancy dictates. Also in order- 
ing or making a new rod, you will not only save the expense 
of a new handle and its furniture, but avoid the temptation 
to use strong language when you find your old reels will not 
fit. Again, your rod, even if of inferior material, will always 
remain straight and tmiform in action." 

Of course the butt joint is turned only half-way 
round when the rings are to be used on top, so that 
the line will extend, not completely round the butt, 
but only half-way in a long curve, and in this position 
it will render freely. 

This idea of the independent handle is an excellent one, 
but, so far as I know, it is not made by any manufacturer 
as a stock article, or, at any rate, not advertised. If any 
amateur wishes to start a collection of rods with one uni- 
versal independent handle he can do no better than to ask 
his maker to proceed on the lines laid down by Mr. Wells on 
page 247 et seq. of his book. 

Trunk-rods are made in from four to six or seven 
joints short enough to be carried in an ordinary 
trunk. Although convenient for trans- 
portation they are, except the most 
expensive, of poor action and not to be recommended. 

American rods are usually sold with a light plush 
or cloth-covered wooden form, made with grooves 

Pishing 20I 

into which the several joints fit, the form being kept 
in a canvas bag. For extensive travelling and for 
storage purposes round leather and fibre 
cases are made in several qualities to hold *^® 

from one to half a dozen rods, the strongest being 
of sole leather and costing from $10.00 to $15.00. 
Cheaper cases of fortified canvas may be had for 
$1.00 and are excellent for canoe trips. Another 
kind of case, particularly suitable for transportation, 
is simply a long, narrow wooden box with straps, 
lock, and handles. 

The worthy angler looks after his rods with the 
same assiduity as the cavalryman does his horse, and 
he reaps his just reward, for, with care, a Care of 
poor rod will last longer and keep in better Rods 

condition than one of high price which is maltreated. 

See that form and case are prefectly dry and clean 
before putting away the rod, having previously 
wiped the rod dry, handle, ferrules, and all. See 
that no foreign substances remain in the ferrules. 
If the rod is not kept in an inflexible form do not tie 
string or tape round the middle of the case or bag, 
and be sure to store standing vertically, or, if hor- 
izontally, so that it rests equally upon its entire 
length. If set away without unjointing see that it 
stands vertically as nearly as possible, or, if laid 
horizontally upon pegs, have enough of them to 
prevent any strain on any part of the rod. The best 
way to put away a jointed rod is to hang it up by 
the tip. Rods should not be left long in too low 
an atmosphere. Before jointing see that the ferrules 
are quite clean. Mr. Wells recommends that they 
be greased, but I greatly prefer a smoother lubricant. 

202 The Way of the Woods 

the best I know being Dixon's graphitoleo, which 
comes conveniently in small tubes. If the ferrules 
stick obstinately when unjointing do not adopt 
such radical measures as jerking impatiently; ask a 
friend to hold one joint while you pull on the other, 
but be careful to twist the rod only very slightly or 
the ferrules will be weakened. Do not indulge in a 
regular tug-of-war if the joints refuse to part, but 
heat the ferrule by holding a coal or a match near 
it, being careful not to burn the wood. The best 
cure for sticking is the use of graphitoleo before 
jointing. If no other lubricant is handy rub the 
male ferrule against your perspiring nose, or rub 
with a lead pencil. If lubrication fails to cure the 
sticking malady recourse must be had to the finest 
emery-dust, with which the male ferrule is rubbed, 
but great care must be taken, as emery pares down 
German silver with great rapidity and a few seconds' 
overrubbing will spoil the ferrule. 

The moment a real mechanical defect appears, 
such as a loosened ferrule or tip or a frayed wrapping, 
repair it at once. Never use your rod if minus even 
one guide, or it is likely to be badly strained. (See 
below under Repairing,) 

To joint a rod, fit the top to the second joint, being 
careful to bring the guides in exact line. (Each pair 
of ferrules is provided with indented dots which must 
be brought immediately opposite each other.) Then 
fit the two jointed parts to the butt. Be sure that the 
ferrules are inserted to their full length. The reel is 
then fitted to the reel-seat and the line drawn through 
the guides. It sometimes happens that a rod must be 
jointed in a canoe or boat, in which case the reel may 
be affixed first and the line drawn through the guides 

Pishing 203 

before jointing, pulling off enough line for the parts 
to be laid beside one another unjointed. Care must 
be taken when jointing that the line does not foul 
nor take a false twist round the rod. If you find 
that even the slightest mistake has been made in 
setting up, do not use the rod in that condition but 
rectify the mistake at once. 

To unjoint, untie the leader, withdraw the line, 
and unjoint first at the butt. If the rod is to be used 
again shortly with the same tackle the line may be 
left in the guides and wound loosely round the 
unjointed parts. 

Never put a rod away wet, or any tackle for that 
matter. Never leave it out all night leaning against 
the tent, as many anglers do. The moisture will 
before long hurt the varnish and certainly the reel 
and line. Do not fish continuously with the reel 
under (or over) the rod, but reverse the rod every 
little while and use it in that position, in order to 
equalise the strain, as otherwise even the best rod 
will likely be "set** to one side. At the end of the 
season straighten and varnish your rod or have it 
done by your dealer, renewing all frayed wrappings 
and testing for looseness and cracks. (See Repairing.) 


For. fly-fishing the perfect reel should be: 

1. Single-action, i,e,, in the form of a simple 
winch, and not a so-called ** multiplier,*' Qualities of 
or, worse yet, an automatic, both these a Good Reel 
being unnecessary and unsportsmanlike. 

2. It should hold thirty or thirty-five yards of No. 
E enamelled silk line ; for, though most fishermen are 
unable to cast well more than twenty yards and are 

204 The Way of the Woods 

very seldom called upon to use much more, it is well 
to have a certain reserve of line on the reel in case 
of accident or wearing, and the fuller the reel the 
larger the spool on which the line is wound, and 
therefore the faster to wind. 

3. It should be oxidised, or of some dull material 
(bronze, rubber) that will not 
reflect the light and frighten the 

4. It should have a protected 
handle, i.e., one that does not 
project more than f inch out 
from the side of the reel and con- 
sists of a single simple wooden nib 
Fig. 32.— British Reel , . 4. 1 i. rx j 

revolving on a metal shaft and 

tapers slightly towards its outer end, so that, if the 
line is caught by the nib, as often happens, it will 
slip off automatically. 

(It will be seen that this condemns all so-called ** balance 
handle" reels, the handles of which protrude to such an 
extent that the line is constantly being fouled in them, an 
annoying state of things by no means helped by the double 

5. The edges of the reel which come in contact 
with the line as it is pulled or reeled ofE should be 
so rounded that they will not wear the line. Most 
cheap reels offend against this rule. The mischief is 
not done in reeling in, but in pulling off extra line for 
a longer cast with the free hand, this being done for 
the most part over the sides of the reel. 

6. The reel should be of the right weight to 
balance the rod, and this can be ascertained only by 
experiment. It is generally true that the lighter the 
tackle the better, but this does not mean, for example. 



that an aluminum reel will properly balance every 
rod; on the contrary it is sure to be too light for 
anything over 4 or 4 J ounces. 

If the above rules be sound, and I believe that the 
great majority of expert fly-fishermen will so regard 
them, it is apparent that most 
so-called trout reels cannot be 
recommended for fly-fishing. 
The multiplying system and 
the balance handle are, with 
the exception of the abomi- 
nable automatic reels, most 
to blame, and no amount of 
bejewelling and expert work- ^^^ 33_American Trout 
manship can save them in the Red with Protected Handle 
eyes of the true sportsman. 

They lighten the work of the angler, retrieving 
his line for him at a double or quadruple pace, 
so that the fish, already at sufficient disadvantage, 
has little chance for its life ; and in cases when even 
an expert gets into trouble, such as when the fish 
takes refuge in weeds or bolts down a rapid, they 
are of no help at all. 

The British manufacture only single-action reels. 
The Hardy Brothers' "Perfect*' and "Bougie" 
reels are all that an angler could desire, and the same 
may be said, for the Malloch (Perth) gun-metal reels 
and especially the **Sun and Planet" ($4.00 to.$6.oo). 

At home we have some excellent fly-reels, among 
them the B. F. Meek single-action trout-reel ($15.00). 
This is made of German silver, but the Messrs. 
Meek assure me that they will cheerfully oxidise 
their reels when desired. The Talbot **Ben Hur" 
reel ($10.00) may be recommended, as I take for 

2o6 The Way of the Woods 

granted it can be had oxidised as well as in bright 
nickel. The common single-action hard rubber reels 
are many of them good, $3.50 being the medium 
price. Among very cheap reels may be mentioned 
the Abbey & Imbrie "Revolving Disc'* ($1.50), and 
especially the Meisselbach "Ex- 
pert ' ' and ' * Feather-weight ' ' 
reels, as they possess the great 
advantages of simple construc- 
tion and generous spool, en- 
abling one to wind in the line 
very fast. They can always be 
had oxidised. " Beyond their 

Tu 4* 17 ^ n rather crude construction (com- 

The ** Expert ^ ^ ^ 

pared with high-priced wares), 

their only weaknesses are their 
sharp edges and the fact that tapered lines cannot 
well be used in them, as the thin ends are apt 
to catch in the rims. They are in other respects 
ideal low-priced reels. The forty-yard "Expert" 
costs $1.60 and is heavy enough to balance a 
five- to seven-ounce rod. The "Feather-weight" 
costs the same and is for a very light rod; in 
fact it is so lightly made as to be somewhat easily 
broken. The ease with which the Meisselbach reels 
can be taken apart and cleaned is a great advan- 
tage. The Orvis reel ($2.50), if oxidised, is a fine 
article. . 

As a parting advice on this subject, never go into 
the woods without a spare reel. 

Use only the very best oil in good reels 

^^ and that very sparingly, in order not to 

clog the mechanism. Every good reel should be 

Pishing 207 

kept in a leather case, or at least a stout bag, to 
keep the dust out. 


The requisites of the perfect fly-line are strength, 
durability, smoothness, and extreme flexibility, and 
these are found in the best modern ''enam- 
elled silk*' waterproof line, though only in 
the best qualities, costing, for twenty-five yards of size 
E level, from $1.25 to $2.00. They are made of the 
finest braided silk, waterproofed in a vacuum, so that 
the waterproofing will penetrate to the core and 
thus prevent rotting, even when the enamel, which 
envelops and glosses the line, is brokeA. 

Any neutral colour is good, the favourite being a 
mixture of green and black. 

For trout-fishing in swift running water level lines 
are used, i.e. , such as are of the same thickness through- 
out. Size E is generally preferred for rods Level or 
weighing over 4J ounces, as its weight Tapered 
enables it to be easily cast, especially in a wind. 
F may be used with rods not powerful enough for E. 
The important point is that the line shall run out to 
the rod*s (and the angler's) casting capacity with 
ease. For delicate fishing in waters where the cur- 
rent is not too strong tapered lines are far the best. 
These taper off towards the end in diameter, and 
possess the great advantage that the light end (next 
the leader) does not slap the water as a heavy line 
is too apt to do, especially after a long cast, but falls 
gently and thus allows the fly to settle softly over 
the fish. This lightness of placing the fly is far 
more important than length of cast in quiet waters, 

2o8 The Way of the Woods 

especially on a bright day. The best all-round tapered 
fly-line is of the size E in the middle and tapers to P 
and even G at the ends. The double taper enables 
the line to be used from either end. 

Oiled silk lines, not enamelled, are much cheaper 

($.50 to $.75 for twenty-five yards), and do ex- 

^j^ j^jj^^g cellent work, though, being lighter, they 

are harder to cast from a trout-reel, and 

are much more apt to foul and snarl. 

When buying a line see that the coils do not stick 
together to any extent, for, though the soft enamel- 
ling is more flexible, stickiness will coun- 

^ teract this advantage. Double the end 

of the line between the finger and thumb and give 
the loop thus formed a roll. If the spot shows a 
whitish mark* the enamel is too brittle and of bad 

Every line, new or old, should be subjected, at the 
beginning of each season, to a tension of at least 
twelve pounds (some say sixteen pounds). The best 
lines when new will stand far more than that. A test 
in time saves many a disappointment. Soft-enamel 
lines can be advantageously rubbed down with 
deer-fat to keep them pliable and smooth ; graphitoleo 
will do also, though the ovemice fisherman might 
soil his hands with it.* 

« Never allow a good line to remain any length of time 
wet on the reel, but remove it and wipe dry. There are 
several good drying-reels for this purpose on the market 
C Angler's Friend, " $3 ; " Nichols," $1). The back of a chair 
may also be used. 

Pishing 209 


The gut from which all leaders (casting-lines) are 
made is produced in the province of Murcia in 
Spain from the fluid of the silk-worm, 
which is drawn from the worm and hardens 
upon exposure to the air. The strands, which are 
between 10 and 18 inches long (the most expensive 
up to 24), are sorted according to size and again 
according to quality. Fishermen should Testing for 
have to do only with good gut, and this Qtiality 
is known by its hard, smooth, colourless quality, 
and its absolute roundness. Rolling it between 
the fingers will reveal any flatness, which means 

The finest (in diameter) natural gut is called 
**Refina*', and is used for the most delicate trout- 
casts (tifW ^o yiAt 1^^^ thick). Then follow "Fina,'* 
** Regular," *'Padron** second and first, "Marana" 
second and first, "Imperial," and "Royal," which 
last is the very thickest salmon gut, produced only 
in small quantities, and consequently very expensive. 
Natural gut is called undrawn to distin- pj^wnGut 
guish it from "drawn gut," which is 
produced in several sizes by drawing, or paring down, 
the natural gut between diamond plates to great 
fineness. Drawn gut is mostly used by British "dry- 
fly" anglers (see Trout-Fishing), whose tackle, except 
the rod, is of extreme delicacy. It is much 
weaker than natural gut and is only recommended 
for use in quiet water where there is plenty of room 
to humour the fish. * 

(Reckoning probably on the general ignorance of the 
average American angler, most of our dealers have adopted 

2IO The Way of the Woods 

a nomenclature for the sizes of gut which is quite senseless, 
since the term "trout-sisje," for example, may mean one 
thing to one fisherman and something much heavier to 
another. There is no advantage and much resulting con- 
fusion in abandoning the terms by which the different sizes 
are known in the British market, to which ninety per cent 
of all gut goes and where the American dealers buy theirs.) 

The reason that the British are addicted to much 

more delicate leaders than we lies in the comparative 

serenity of their waters, where they do not 
engtn j^^^^ ^^ ^^^j^^ |^^^l^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ rapids 

as is often the case with us. Nevertheless Americans 
generally use too heavy gut for trout, in most cases 
strong enough to hold a salmon. On brawling streams, 
especially when swollen in early spring, a strong 
leader is a necessity, but one of " Regular'* gut with 
**Padron" upper half will hold the biggest trout 
that swims, provided it be of good quality. For 
my own part I confess to a leaning towards very 
light leaders C'Fina'* and ''Refina'*), the object 
being to give the fish all the chance possible. (This 
gut I have nearly always been obliged to get directly 
from England, as our dealers do not commonly keep 
it in stock.) The British make the mistake of using too 
heavy rods with delicate tackle. Why should we go 
to the opposite extreme and attach salmon leaders 
to lines thrown by light rods? Mr. Wells says (Fly- 
Rods and Fly-Tackle): 

" The strain imposed upon a leader, even by the largest 
trout, is generally greatly overestimated. A leader that 
will endure five potmds steady strain with a spring-balance 
will, when baaked by the elasticity of a fair rod, resist the 
utmost effort of the largest trout that swims the Rangeley 

Pishing 211 

In any case buy the lightest trout-leaders your 
dealer keeps. 

For stream work the leader should be six to seven 
feet long. For fishing open, quiet water it may be 
nine feet, except with a short rod, for the Length 
leader should in no case be longer than 
the rod, or the knot at the junction of line and leader 
will for ever be getting caught in the tip-ring, to the 
vexation of the angler. Nor, with too long a leader, 
will you be able to get your fish near enough to net, 
for the bend of the rod enables the victim to keep 
at a greater distance. It follows that a nine-foot 
rod should not be used with a leader ii\ore than 
seven feet long. 

Innumerable experiments have been made with a 
view to ascertaining what colour of gut is the least 
conspicuous to the eye of a fish, and the Colour 
discussion goes merrily on. Nowadays 
most ready-made leaders are stained a **mist,*' or 
pale grey, colour as being neutral, and this is perhaps 
as good as anything; but, while it behooves the 
modest man to keep an open mind on such subjects, 
I confess that I have lately come to the conclusion 
that it is best to leave the gut in its natural colourless 
state, for the reason that, once in the water, it takes 
on and reflects the colouring of the surrounding ele- 
ment ; in other words it is apt to become practically 
a part of the water in tint, while stained gut remains 
constant to itself and hence is more conspicuous. 
Neither does staining improve the quality of the gut. 
Leaders in several tints may be had of dealers. Of 
course if one fishes waters that are habitually slightly 

212 The Way of the Woods 

coloured, such, for example, as those of southern 
Nova Scotia, the leader may be tinted to match ; in 
this case a pale yellow by soaking in strong coflEee. 

Unless specially ordered, most American leaders, 
if nine feet long, are furnished, at certain points be- 
tween the two ends, with two loops to which 
a second and a third fly may be knotted, 
the general run of fishermen, especially the non- 
expert class, using three flies together, a habit repre- 
hensible in many eyes, since it approaches the use of 
the drag-net. And it may be said that, though many 
excellent anglers habitually use two flies, the "simon- 
pure'* sportsman, who has risen from the lower 
forms of the fish-hog through the slightly higher 
class of creel-fillers and record-boasters, finally to 
become an alumnus of the ''College of Pure Angling," 
uses one fly only and hence has no desire for loops 
on his leaders. However let us not be Pharisaical, 
but close an eye to the use of one dropper-fly, if 
only for the pleasure (perhaps after a surfeit of 
fishing) of hooking and landing a pair at one cast, 
an experience which has its exciting and legitimate 
joys. The loop for the dropper should be placed 
at least thirty inches (better three feet) from the 
tail-fly (stretcher-fly) loop. If you will persist in 
using three flies — ^but no, let us not contemplate 
even the possibility of this! 

To the stout end of the leader is tied a small loop for 
attaching the line, and, if, as usual here, flies tied 
on gut are used, a larger loop is provided at the 
finer end for attaching the fly-loops. If small-eyed 
flies (without gut) are used the leader end is left 
without a loop, the fly being attached by some kind 

Pishing 213 

of knot. (See under Flies,) One practical way to 
make up tapered leaders is to buy a number of two 
and three-foot leaders of diflEerent thicknesses and 
loops at each end, and loop them together as desired. 

Holding the leader-loop between the thumb and 

forefinger of the left hand, pass the end of the line 

up through the loop for an inch and a half, Attaching 

cross it over itself with the end pointed Leader 

from you, and then press the middle of the free 

end round under and up 

through itself, forming a knot 

which is now drawn tight by 

i7r^ T A 1 » ir * holding with the left fingers 
Fig. 35. — Anglers Knot °,. , ,. . , , 

and pullmg the line with the 

right hand. This is the usual 

and a very good method. 

(See Figure 35.) 

Another way: Pass the end ^^^ 36._Another Leader 
of the line through the loop, Knot, 
then round it, and finally 

under itself. Haul tight. In this case a knot in th ; 
end of the line ensures added security. (See Figure 

In all cases the smaller the knot the neater and 

Leaders are kept coiled in boxes of metal, either 
round or rounded oblong in shape, costing from $.25 
to $1.00. They contain two or more Leader- 
sheets of felt between which, moistened, boxes 
the leaders lie. For storing purposes the boxes should 
be of some strong material, but to carry a few extra 
leaders in the pocket the little $.25 aluminum box 

214 The Way of the Woods 

is just the thing. When likely to be used the felt 
should be kept well moistened, to soften the gut and 
render it perfectly flexible, as insufficiently moistened 
gut is very easily injured, with the result that it 
frays or cracks and then breaks with a moderate pull. 
Moistening gut does not render it stronger, on the 
contrary its tensile strength is weakened by some 
twenty per cent, by the process, but it does make it 
pliable and less liable to injury. Always examine a 
leader closely before using, and exchange it for another 
if the slightest fraying or cracking is discovered. A 
weak strand can be replaced at leisure by a fresh one. 

Fishermen are for several reasons recommended 
to make their own leaders, an easy and amusing 
How to task after a little practice. Especially is it 
Make profitable for those who do not care to be 

bound by the stereotyped patterns offered by the 
dealers. One can make any style and length to suit 
one*s taste. Gut, stained or unstained, can be had 
from the dealers in the hank of one hundred strands. 
Consult the catalogues of Abbey & Imbrie and Aber- 
crombie & Fitch of New York (the former firm 
preserves the original names of the several sizes). 
Canadians can import directly from Hardy Brothers, 
Alnwick, England, and save a portion of the cost. 

Carefully select the strands for each leader according 
to thickness and length, having decided upon the 
length and style. The leader should taper gently 
from thick to thin end, a fact to be kept in mind 
while choosing the strands, which are coiled loosely 
together and put to soak overnight in tepid soft 
water (distilled is best), which will render them 

Pishing 215 

soft and pliable. A couple of hours in warm, not 
hot, water will often be enough but overnight is 
better, as the strands will then be softer and the knots 
will prove closer and stronger. Begin by doubling back 
on itself the thick end of the heaviest strand Single 

far enough to tie a very small loop (common Water-knot 
knot). It need only be large enough to allow the 
line to pass through. Draw as taut as possible by 
inserting a lead-pencil and pulling steadily on the 
strand and the loose end, which need not be trimmed 
off until the complete leader has been tied. Next 
tie a single loose knot in the other end of the strand, 
only about J of an inch in diameter and as near the 
end as the quality of the gut will warrant, being care- 
ful not to include any part that is flat or otherwise 
imperfect. Take the second thickest strand, thrust 
its thicker end through the loose knot just tied, and 
tie with this end a second knot round the top strand. 
The two strands will then appear like this: 

Draw the two loops pretty tight and then pull them 
together by drawing 
on the two long ends, 
so that they form one 
compact knot, called 
the ** single water- 
knot.*' When joined 
pull steadily and strongly on the strands and the 
two untrimmed ends until the knot seems perfect. 
This process is repeated with each new strand 
until the leader has attained its destined length, 
when all projecting ends are trimmed off with 
the scissors as closely as possible to the knots. 
For snelled flies a loop, large enough for the fly 
to pass through, is tied at the end of the thinnest 

Fig. 37.— Detail of Single Water- 

2i6 The Way of the Woods 

strand. For eyed flies the end is left without 
a loop. 

Instead of the single knot many prefer the "double 
water-knot," especially for thin gut, which pulls 
Double out more easily. It is made like the 
Water-knot single knot, except that the short end is 
passed twice round the other long part instead of 

once, and then through 

both loops thus formed. 

Mr. Wells recommended 
Fig. 38.— Double Water-Knot "the single knot for or- 

dinary gut, and I can 
testify from long experience that, if the gut is well 
soaked and closdly tied, it is quite satisfactory. 
For drawn gut the double knot is preferable, as 
it is stronger and the bulk is not much increased. 

The leader we have just made contains no loop for 

a dropper-fly, which may be attached in two ways. 

Dropper- i. Having determined at which knot 

loop the dropper shall be placed, we do not make 

a water-knot as above at this place, but tie in each 

end a simple loop and then 

join as in the cut. To put on 

the fly, push the loops apart 

-, 7 xr * * and insert the snell of the fly 

Fig. 39.— Loop-Knot for . -^ 

Dropper-Fly (with a knot at its end or its 

regular loop to prevent slipping 
through) ; then pull the loops together again. This 
enables the angler to change his dropper with ease 
and celerity. If he wishes to use an eyed fly for a 
dropper he must attach to it a short snell of gut with 
a knot in the end. (Fig. 39.) 

Pishing 217 

2. At the place where we wish to place the dropper, 
and before the water-knot is drawn taut, we insert 
a short piece of gut with a common knot in one end 
and a J inch loop in the other. Then draw the water- 
knot tight. The dropper-loop need not be over an 
inch or so long, as the fly will be far enough from the 
leader by reason of its own snell. 

Having made our leader we now proceed to test 
its strength. Soak well. Fasten the thick end to 
some smooth projection, as a hook, and ^ ^ 
the other to a pocket balance scales, which 
are held in the hand and strained steadily until the 
leader either breaks or the scales register a satisfactory 
strength. If the leader stands the test do not repeat 
it, as the gut is weakened by the process. A five- 
pound strain is enough to test any trout-leader, for 
a trout pulls very little over its own weight in smooth 
water, and in rapids he must be humoured to some 
extent. For very light leaders a strain of 2 J pounds 
is sufficient. If the leader breaks before it should, 
repair and retest. When satisfactory coil loosely 
and put away with a label pasted round it, containing 
a record of the strain it can bear. 

(To attach fiies to leaders, see under Flies.) 

Though not an advocate of coloured leaders, I 
append the following hints for those who To Dye 
are. All boiling is best done in earthenware pots. 

Neutral Grey: Boil for five minutes or so a drachm of 
ground logwood and- six grains of powdered copperas. Re- 
move from fire and immerse the gut for two or three minutes, 
fishing it out every minute to see whether sufficiently dark. 

2 1 8 The Way of the Woods - 

When the required shade is obtained wash in cold water. 

Grey: Immerse in pure black ink and cold water, half and 
half, until the right shade is obtained. Ink corrodes gut 

Green: "Boil green baize in water, and when this is well 
charged with colour, and still warm, immerse the gut therein 
until sufficiently dyed." (F. Francis.) 

YeUow: See above under Colour. 


Artificial flies are generally supposed to be more 
or less accurate imitations of natural winged insects, 
for which they are taken by game fish; and this is 
no doubt true of some waters and of some flies, par- 
ticularly in regions which have been fished for many 
years, where the kinds of food are few, and where the 
trout have become ** educated,*' as in England and 
some parts of this continent. Here the flies are made 
to imitate the natural flies on the water as closely 
as possible, as, for example, those most used in 
Pennsylvania and southern New York, and in a still 
greater degree on the clear chalk streams of England, 
where the brown trout (salmo fario) is lured with 
the daintiest of flies made to imitate both sexes of the 
insects common to those waters, for on the other side 
of the water a knowledge of angling entomology is as 
common as our general dense ignorance on the same 
subject, not one American angler in fifty being able 
to name correctly a single living fly found on trout 
waters; in fact it is doubtful whether there are fifty 
in the whole country who can do it, exception being 
made of one or two of the commonest kinds. The 
result is that there are no artificial flies tied in this 
country that can rival British ** dry-flies " in workman- 

Pishing 219 

ship. One reason for this is the ignorance just men- 
tioned and the consequent lack of demand, but a 
still more important one lies in the fact that our 
beautiful brook-trout {salvelinus fontinalis) refuses 
as a very general rule to take any lure which floats 
as if dead on the surface of the water (May-flies 
are about the only exception). The artificial fly 
must therefore be kept in motion, and its workman- 
ship is of less importance, since its details cannot be 
so distinctly seen by the fish as if it floated motionless. 

Volumes have been written on the question, *'For 
what do trout take the artificial fly?" and various 
have been the answers, the majority inclining to the 
belief that it is taken solely for the natural insect 
which it purports to represent. Others say ** minnows'* ; 
others still **both.*' To my mind all these opinions 
are correct though in different places and at different 
times. Usually in quiet, much fished waters they 
do take the fly for the real insect; farther north, 
especially when large and submerged, for a mifinow, 
and again for something else. But, in spite of the 
** nature fakers,** no American trout ever passed an 
examination in entomology, and I am sure that 
when a hungry trout rises to the fly he is not 
in a comparative or analytic mood; he simply 
sees something that looks good to eat and goes for it! 
Especially is this the case in the north woods where 
trout feed on a multiplicity of foods, and where their 
habit, as any experienced angler knows, is to attack 
anything that looks edible. Who has not seen a 
trout take into his mouth innumerable small objects, 
from artificial flies to maple-buds, and immediately 
eject them after trial of their character? 

That he cannot possibly recognise the natural 

220 The Way of the Woods 

insects upon which he feeds in the lures which are 
generally cast over him is shown by a glance at such 
favourite northern flies as the Silver-Doctor, Par- 
machenee-Belle, or Jenny-Lind, mere fanciful com- 
binations of colour bearing no resemblance to any 
living creature. The English angler with the floating 
'* dry-fly** begins operations by observing upon what 
insect the fish are feeding, selects then from his 
dry-fly box the fly made in imitation of that insect, 
casts it lightly just above a trout that has risen, and, 
allows it to float down over the fish. It is possible 
that this method, which is a very fascinating and^ 
scientific form of angling, would be crowned with 
success in some parts of our country if we only 
possessed flies tied in exact imitation of our native 
Ephemera, which we have not, — a fact not com- 
plimentary to the enterprise of our tackle-makers. 
In northern waters, and using English flies, I have 
always found dry-fly fishing a failure compared with 
the Wet, lively fly method, undoubtedly for the 
already mentioned reason that our brook-trout 
ignores most dead baits, at least on the surface. Our 
northern waters are generally somewhat discoloured 
and mostly running, and the gaudiness of the highly 
coloured flies enables them to be the more easily 

Another ancient and classic dispute is that between 
the *'colourists** and the ** formalists,*' as to whether 
colotir or shape is the more important in a fly. One 
man, asserting that shape was quite secondary, 
fished all day with a bunch of red worsted tied to a 
hook and took a lot of fish, while in England a well- 
known angler. Sir H. Maxwell, made just the op- 
posite statement, and threw the dry-fly purists, to 

Fishing 221 

whom the slightest shades of colour are as important 
as Magna Charta, into confusion by taking fish after 
fish with flies of the regulation dry-fiy pattern, 
stained however a brilliant red and blue! One may- 
say in general that the rougher and more opaque 
the water, the more important does colour become. 
Most orthodox anglers may be described as "colour- 
ist-formalists," believing in the importance of both 

The books are by no means closed upon all these 
interesting questions, and every one has a right to an 
opinion, so long as it is founded on experience and 
reason. In the matter of the choice of flies there is 
but one sound rule: lay in a stock of those which 
pass for the best in the region where you intend to 
fish, adding to it then according to fancy. 

Of the "dry," or exact imitation flies, mentioned 
above, made with quill, straw, or cork bodies, so 
that they will float, none are tied in this 
country. J. Harrington Keene (whose 
death last year every angler will regret) used to tie^ 
assisted by Mrs. Keene, an exact imitation, scale- 
wing, detached-body fly, but the ignorance of ento- 
mology on the part of our fishermen prevented their 
taking enough interest in it to make it pay, and the 
dealers therefore dropped it, more *s the pity. Exact 
imitations of several insects, as the stone-fly, bee, 
etc., are made of soft rubber, but are indifferently 
turned out and hardly worth trying for trout. 

Of wet flies we have the winged, the hackles^ and 

The ordinary pattern of winged fly is tied on an 

22 2 The Way of the Woods 

eyed or snelled hook, and consists of head, body, tag, 
Winged wings, tail, and hackle, some flies being 
Flies withouf one or more of these parts. The 

hackle is supposed to represent the insect's legs, 
moving with the motion of the water and thus 
rendering the fly attractive to the fish. 

The wings of American flies are usually made 
"reversed,** i.e., they are placed, 
in making, on the hook pointing 
towards the eye or snell, and 
then, after the hackle has been 
tied on, they are reversed, so 
that they point back towards 
Fig. 40.— Winged Fly, ^he ** business end** of the hook. 
^ ^^^ This gives strength and makes 

a head for the fly. The tag is a narrow binding of 
herl, feather, or silk at the junction of body and tail. 
"Double- winged flies** are provided with two pairs 
of wings. 

Hackles are wingless flies with the hackle secured 
at the hea:d. Palmers are similar, except that the 
Hackles; hackle extends the whole length of the 
Palmers body. Both are excellent lures, as they 
keep their shape in the water better than ordinary 
winged flies, the wings of which generally cling closely 
to the body when drawn through the water, whereas 
the natural insect more often spreads its wings when 
shipwrecked and afloat. 

The old method of securing the artificial fly to the 
leader was by means of a snell of gut whipped to a 
straight-shanked hook, and this is still universal 
in this country, the best flies being tied with "help- 

\ Fishing 223 

ers, '* or double gut next the hook, to give strength. 
The loop in the end of the snell is passed over 
the loop of the leader and the fly- 
through the leader-loop. About twenty- 
years ago eyed hooks for flies came into use in England 
and are now practically- universal, the common pattern 
having the turn-down eye. The eyed-hook fly may be 
^ directly attached to the leader by a knot, or a looped 

I snell may be first attached to the fly and that to 

the leader, like the ordinary American fly. There 
are several knots for attaching eyed hooks to the 

Jam^Knot Holding the fly with the hook-eye 
turned upwards, pass the well- -.^ 

softened leader end through the 

eye towards the point and then ^ - 

back upon itself; then make a 
slip-knot round the body of the leader. Draw this 
slip-knot small and then back to the eye, so that it 
will just pass over the eye; draw the slip-knot tight 
in that position. Clip off extra gut-end. (Figure 41.) 

Double-Hitch Knot. Pass the leader-end through 
the eye towards the point of the hook, then twice 
round the shank and tighten. This is not so se- 
cure as the jam-knot or the following Turle-Knot. 

Turle-Knot. Holding the fly as before, pass the 
leader-end through the eye and run the hook out of 
the way several inches up the leader; make a slip- 
knot with the leader-end round the leader itself 
and draw tight, leaving a loop, which is then passed 
over the hook and drawn tight. (Figure 42.) 

The beginner need not worry about the form of 
his fly-hooks, as long as he patronises a reputable 

224 The Way of the Woods 

dealer, a^ any of the common patterns will do, 
providing the quality is good. The favourite styles 
Shape of are the Sproat, Pennell, O'Shaughnessy, 
Hook Limerick, Carlisle, Perfect, and Sneck. 

Most English flies, especially small ones, are tied 
on Pennell or Sneck hooks. 

Fig. 42. — Turle-Knot 

There are now several standards of measurement 
for fly-hooks, but the old one may be adhered to. 
Sizes of as the dealers know it and will furnish 
Hooks flies according to it, even when the particu- 

lar style of hook has a different standard. 

In Great Britain, where every trout water has 
been fished for many years, you will find lists of 
Patterns favourite flies, not only for every stream 
but for every fishing month in the year. 
In our vast country, piscatorially including the 
Dominion, the making of such a list would be a very 
** large order*' indeed, though we have already made 
a beginning. The trouts of America differ to such 
an extent in their predilections, and even the individ- 
uals of the same species in different waters, that it is a 
difficult task to give lists of spring, summer, and 
autumn flies that shall not be too general to be of 
much value. As this book is primarily meant for 
Size sojourners in northern waters, our task is 

somewhat simpler. There, in spring, when 
the freshets change even quiet streams into torrents 

Pishing 225 

and tinge the waters with colour, larger flies may be 
used than later, when the same waters have resumed 
their wonted serenity and limpidity. Thus in spring 
flies tied on No. 6 hooks are often not too large for 
Maine or Canada, and No. 4 is not unknown. In 
summer No. 8 is large enough and Nos. 10 and 12 
much used, with 14 for very clear, quiet waters. 
Large flies are justifiable in rapid, swirling, or foamy 
streams, as they can be more easily seen by the fish. 
The ancient rule says that bright flies take 
best on dark days and dark flies on bright ^^ 

days, and this is in the main true, — ^with the excep- 
tions that always obtain in all departments of the 
art of angling. 

As to the value of a given fly at different seasons 
and in different places, the evidence is very con- 
flicting and as yet not voluminous enough, for the 
reason that our anglers have not taken the trouble 
to make and publish exact records of the flies they 
have used, or of the insects on which the fish have been 
feeding. Our trout too seem to be more fickle than 
those of the old world, one reason for this being the 
more extensive menu of our fish. There is no hard 
and fast rule. Who, for example, has not discovered 
that the fly which was the best killer last season 
seemed to be somewhat out of date this, either from 
a difference in the depth or character of the water 
or a caprice of the trout? / 

The tendency of beginners is to choose flies tied! 
on too large hooks. Stick to No. 8, with No. 6 for/ 
turbulent waters and No. 10 where the fish are smaly; 
after a season or two you will have ideas of youlr 
own on the subject. Remember that the smaller 
the fly the lighter the leader should be. If your line 

2 26 The Way of the Woods 

is not tapered the leader should be as long as possible 
when using a small fly. On waters such as those of 
Pennsylvania or Connecticut, No. lo and 12 hooks 
are large enough. In the mountains of the West the 
same general rules apply as in our north woods. 

The following lists of flies are offered, not as the 
best, for opinions, even among good anglers, differ 
Suggested widely on this subject, but as working 
Lists bases. They are supposed to be answers 

to the question: **What three dozen flies shall I 
take with me?" 

Eastern Canada, Northern New England and New York, etc,. 
Spring Flies 

6 each: Silver-Doctor, Parmachenee-Belle, Brown Hackle 

(red body). 
4 each: Montreal, Jungle-Cock, Brown Hackle (herl body). 

3 eacl:i: Coachman, Professor. 

Substitutes: Jock-Scott, Grey Hackle, Black Hackle, March- 
Brown, Jenny-Lind, Alder, Doctor Breck, Brown 
Palmer, Grey Palmer. 

For summer in the same regions may be added: Red-Ibis, 
Royal-Coachman . 

For autumn the spring flies will do. 

Southern New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and South 

4 each : Red-Spinner, Black Gnat, Brown Palmer, Red 

Hackle, Silver-Doctor, Beaverkill, Cahill, March- 
Brown, Alder, Cowdung. 
Substitutes: Grey Drake, Cinnamon, Yellow-bodied Pro- 
fessor, Black Hackle, Brown Hackle (herl body). 

For the more southerly regions however the makers 
are beginning, oh, so slowly! to tie flies in exact imita- 
tion of the Ephemeridae there found on the waters, 
and the next few years will see a great advance in this 

Pishing 227 

particular. Those wishing special patterns in flies 
can have them tied, if not competent themselves, 
by sending the patterns to some reputable maker 
such as C. F. Orvis, of Manchester, Vt., Abbey & 
Imbrie, Abercrombie & Fitch, or Mrs. J. H. Keene. 
The last-named, widow of the lamented angling 
author, ties only to special order and her flies are of 
exquisite workmanship. (Address: Queens, L. I., 
N. Y.) 

As there are some hundreds of patterns of trout- 
flies mentioned in the dealers* catalogues, about forty 
to fifty of which are in common use, it is evident that 
such lists as the above can have only a comparative 
value. They contain, however, most of the popular 
patterns, as recommended by the leading authorities. 
But before buying it is well to consult some angler 
who has had experience in the waters chosen, as 
there are always local conditions of importance to 

Flies in quantities are best kept, if on gut snells, 
in stout envelopes (parchment best), one pattern in 
each, with the snells in as loose coils as 
possible. Shake a little powdered camphor ^^* °^^ 
into each envelope, which should be marked with the 
name of the fly. The envelopes are then stored in 
the trays of the tackle-box or elsewhere safe from 

The best receptacle for eyed flies consists of sheets 
of cork fixed in boxes so deep that the flies may stand 
upright without touching the sides. Beau- 
tiful though high-priced boxes of tin and °^®^ 
leather are made by the British and sold in this 


The Way of the Woods 

country. They run from the little rosewood or 
japanned boxes containing from 60 to 150 flies up to 
the luxurious $40.00 cabinets fitted with moth-proof 

trays. A pocket eyed- 
fly box of good work- 
manship costs from 
$2.50 upwards. (A 
cheap and somewhat 
crude one is made by 
Abbey & Imbrie for 
« .350 

Eyed flies of the 
regular "wet" shape, 
which can be stored 

Fig. 43. — Eyed-Fly Box 

flat without injury, are generally carried in flat 
boxes or leather books furnished with clips to 
which the hooks are secured. (Price of boxes, 
$2.50 to $7.00.) 

The dainty English dry- 
flies are kept either in a 
cork box, as above, or in 
metal boxes provided with 
several small compart- 
ments, one for each fly. 
(English price, $2.00.) 


-: ^ 


4 • 


The supply of snelled 
flies for actual use on the 
stream is carried 
in a fly-book, which should be of stout 

Fig. 44. — Bar and Clip Fly- 


XJ.X a, i.i.y-u\j\jsk.^ vv xxjL\^j.j. oxxv 

leather (canvas in cheaper grades). A good pigskin 

fly-book will wear out half a dozen '* cheap and 

nasty'* ones, though it will cost from $5.00 to $7.00. 

Among the various patent fly-books exploited 

Fishing 229 

by the American dealers are the "Bray/* the 
*Xhubb/' the ** Monarch/' and the **Bar and Centre- 
CUp,'* the last of which appeals most to me, though 
it is not made in very high-grade leather. Better 
than all, though expensive, is the '*Levison'' book, 
the only one the mechanism of which holds the fly 
absolutely fast. 

There is now on the market a convenient aluminum 
or ebonite box, the "DeWitt,** furnished with felt 
pads and gratings, which keep the snells of the flies 
wet and the hooks dry. It costs but $ .75, and is an 
excellent article to have. In copper it costs even 

A cast, in piscatorial parlance, is a leader ready- 
furnished with one or more flies, combinations known 
to be killing on certain waters. For these ^^34^.^8^- 
special flat cases of leather with canvas 
covers and parchment or celluloid leaves can be had, 
very convenient to carry in the pocket. One with 
pigskin covers costs $1.50. 

Keep flies from moth and rust and do not crush 
them. Wipe the hooks with an oiled rag before 
storing away. If put in the book wet Care of 
they will rust and hurt both fly and gut. F^es 

One of the joys of angling is the annual pre- vernal 
overhauling of the tackle and particularly the flies, 
which are laid out, counted, and sorted again in their 
books and boxes. Frayed snells are replaced, the 
old veterans segregated, and, the chief delight, lists 
made of new flies to be purchased. 

Nets mounted upon handles are used to dip the 

230 The Way of the Woods 

fish from the water when exhausted, thus saving the 
strain on the rod which would be necessary to lift 
the fish. The best net for canoe fishing is of coarse 
waterproofed twine, about sixteen inches deep and 
square at the bottom, mounted on a wood or cane 
handle some four feet long, the net depending from a 
metal ring from twelve to fourteen inches in diameter. 
The old-fashioned iron ring fitted into the shaft by 

Fig. 45,— Hairimac Net-Frame 

means of a spike, but all the good features of a strong 
yet light trout landing-net are now found combined in 
the modem collapsible nets, such as the well-known 
**Harrimac,'' consisting of a steel collapsing net- 
ring fitting on to a two-piece handle, so that it may 
be used either two or four feet long. Net, handle, and 
ring fold together, when taken down, in a convenient 
roll. Without net the **Harrimac'* costs (rust-proof 
metal and bamboo handle) $2.25. A good net, which 
should be of heavy brown waterproof twine with a 
fairly fine mesh and square bottom, costs, for the 
eighteen inch length, from $1.00 in braided linen, to 
$2.00 for the best ** enamelled.*' Bright yellow nets 
frighten the fish. 

For wading a short-handled net is best. The 
folding " I-D-L,'* with a twelve inch handle, is an excel- 
lent one, and can be had with a stout elastic cord, 
enabling it to be carried round the neck, the elasticity 
of the cord enabling the fish to be netted without 

Fishing 231 

removing the net from the neck, while when not in 
use it is thrown over the back. Another much 
cheaper short-handled net has an oval wood net- 
frame which screws to a wood handle sixteen inches 
long, a serviceable combination costing only $ .85. 
I have used one of these for years. To the end of the 

Fig. 46.—** I-D-L " Net-Frame 

handle I attach a piece of strong but pliable leather - 
with a buttonhole, and carry the net hanging from a 
button sewed to the back of my coat or waistcoat- 
collar, as the case may be. When needed it is easily 
unbuttoned with the right hand, as the button is 
placed a little to the right of the middle. These nets 
are also made with very light cane rings and handles 
in one piece, but they are hardly strong enough for 
much usage. 

Some appliance by which the wading net may be 
attached to the person, thus leaving both hands free 
for other tasks, is very desirable on our tumultuous 
streams. The pins sold for this purpose are far too 
flimsy. British landing-nets are very expensive and 
in some ways not as good as ours. 


Creels, or fish-baskets, are handy for short trips, 
especially when the trout are small. On long canoe- 

232 The Way of the Woods 

trips into the wilderness they are in the way, a well- 
worked and twisted withe being sufficient in case one 
is walking. The regulation creel used in this country 
is a French production of plaited willow with a hole in 
either the middle or one side of the top through which 
to drop the trout, and for ventilation. No. 4, holding 
twenty-five pounds of fish, costs without strap $2.00; 

Fig. 47. — Wooden-Frame Net 

holding thirty-five pounds, $3.00. The strap should 
be **new style" ($1.25), with a narrow strap round the 
waist and a webbed sling for the shoulder, preventing 
any undue and sudden sliding round of the basket, 
which, when full, is more than likely to throw a 
person off his balance, with dire results if on a rapid 
and rocky brook. 

Another willow basket is the **Brodhead,*' which 
is longer than the usual style, enabling bigger fish 
to be carried laid out straight. The **Levison" 
basket has a composition top, side hole, and bolt- 
lock (price $4.50). The best colour for a creel is 
a matter of taste. Brown is less conspicuous, but 
draws more heat than straw-colour. 

The ** Duplex" is a waterproof brown canvas 

Fishing 233 

creel folding up when not in use, a convenient fea- 
ture ($1.75 and $2.25). A simpler folding canvas 
creel costs $1.00. I have never used any folding 
creel and cannot therefore recommend them from 
personal experience. 

H. P. Wells's Fly-Rods and Fly-Tackle is the stand- 
ard American authority on this subject. Another 
book on fishing-tackle announced to appear BibUographv 
shortly, The Angler's Workshop, by Perry 
D. Frazer, editor of Forest and Stream, cannot fail 
to be up-to-date and authoritative. 


There is no more delightful occupation for an 
angler than to make his own rods and tackle, a sub- 
ject, however, altogether too extensive to treat of in 
a manual of this kind. Young fishermen cannot 
be too strongly urged to take it up, beginning with 
tying their own leaders, and progressing as far as 
their skill will allow, even to the supreme point of 
constructing a fiy-rod of good quality. The work, 
even if only partially successful, will be found fas- 
cinating and most instructive. I have personally 
received many a valuable lesson from my bungling 
efforts to tie a trout-fly that would pass muster. 
Those who wish to take up the subject seriously 
should begin by procuring the books by Mr. Wells and 
Mr. Frazer just mentioned. 

The following instructions are intended for fisher- 
men who suffer the commoner accidents on the stream 
itself, and are purposely made as simple and terse 
as possible. 

234 The Way of the Woods 

In the first place never go far from camp without 
having in your pocket or fly-book a yard or so of 
winding-silk (size O, or if not obtainable, then A); 
a small flat file (if necessary with the tang taken off 
to go into the fly-book) ; a piece of cobbler's wax kept 
in a piece of kid glove ; and at least one rather large- 


Fig, 48. — Temporary Tip, Single Loop 

sized ring-tip. One or two ring-guides and keepers 

are also convenient to have. Most serious accidents 

occur to the rod. A broken reel, or one too badly 

bent to put in shape on the stream, cannot be used 

for the moment, but, in case there 

is no spare reel handy, one can 

make out to fish without a reel. 

Fig 4 —Tern ^^^ difficulty with the reel-seat can 

rary Tip, Double t>e obviated by lashing the reel to 

Loop the rod with twine or a piece of 

fish-line. No line in fair condition 

is likely to break except near the end, so that there 

will always be enough on the reel in reserve. Of 

leaders and flies a supply is always carried on the 


Broken Top, If a top-piece is broken so that at 
least half of it is intact, file or whittle it down to fit 
the reserve tip you carry in your fly-book, first 
waxing the wooden end slightly. This will do tem- 
porarily; when you return to camp you can replace 
the tip with angler's cement, a small stick of which 
should be in your kit. It is softened by heat. If 
you have no extra tip, a temporary one must be 
made out of brass or copper wire, or failing this, of 

Fishing 235 

a stout pin with the head filed off, bent into a 
single or double loop, the two ends being whipped 
to the rod with waxed silk. (Figures 48 and 49.) 
If there is shellac in the canoe, coat the winding 
with it. The two parts of a broken top may be 
spliced together, especially towards the tip, with a 
quill softened in warm water, split lengthwise, 
trimmed to fit, and then placed over the break 
and whipped on with waxed silk. Breaks, or par- 
tial breaks, in the upper half of the middle joint 
or stout part of the top can be pretty strongly 
mended by wrapping a rubber band, well stretched 
as you wind, round the break, and tying it securely 
in place with twine or silk. I have elsewhere recom- 
mended taking a small roll of bicycle-tire for the 
purpose of mending canoes. If a piece is handy it 
can be used in place of the rubber band. 

Breaks in the lower half of the rod, if just below 
a ferrule, the most likely place, are repaired by re- 

FlG. 50.— Broken Pieces Fitted Ready 
for Wrapping 

moving the broken piece from the ferpile, into which 
the other broken end, after being filed and scraped, 
is fitted. The scraped end may be rubbed with 
cobbler's wax temporarily. Afterwards in camp 
the end can be more securely fitted into the ferrule 
with cement. 

Breaks at least a few inches from a ferrule must 
be spliced. If the break is a splinter, so that the 
two parts present a long surface that may be wrapped, 
this may be done. If the break is short off, the two 

236 The Way of the Woods 

parts are cut and filed down and fitted together 
(Figure 50), the fitted sides being slightly roughened 
or scored. Care must be taken to make the splice 
so that the guide-rings shall be in exact line. Glue 
should really be used for the splice, but as we cannot 

carry that in our pockets, we warm 

O the two pieces and the cobbler's 

^ y wax over a fire, coat the pieces 

F,G. 51.— Tempo- thinly with the wax, and keep them 

rary guide pressed together until stiff, after 

which the splice is wrapped with 
silk, or, failing that, with twine. In case you have 
no wax, a somewhat unworkmanlike but effective 
splice can be made by means of a couple of slender 
wooden splints (of ash or oak) wound with twine. 

If an important guide-ring is lost a temporary one 
can be made of a piece of wire or a pin, the ends being 
filed sharp (Figure 51). The twist is made, after 
the loop has been formed, by inserting the latter in 
a cleft stick. If too difficult the simple loop will do. 
Wrap it to the rod with waxed silk, and bend the 
loop so that it will be in line with the other guides. 

It will be noted that a successful result of nearly 
all repairs of the rod depends upon wrapping, which, 
How to as it means only winding the silk round 
Make a and round the rod while keeping the rings 
Wrapping ^^^^ ^j^^j close together, is not a difficult 
task. The hard part comes at the end, when the 
wrapping must be finished off securely. To do this 
we must learn the secret of the invisible knot. Suppose 
you wish to replace a lost guide-ring. Remove 
the remains of the old silk and begin the new wrap- 
ping as in Figure 52. The loop extending along the 



Fig. 52. —Beginning of Wrapping 

rod must be slightly longer than the projected wrap- 
ping. Now complete the wrapping, rolling the rod 
from you. When fin- 
ished the end A is 
pulled until only a tiny 
loop remains. We then 
cut off our silk at B, 
leaving about two 
inches, and pull the end B through the loop a. 

Finally we pull on the 
end A, which draws the 
loop a (and the end B) 
tmder the winding and 
confines it securely. Cut 
oflE the ends closely. A 
little practice and the thing is easy. 

If for any reason the invisible knot cannot be 
made, the wrapping may be finished off by the double- 
hitch fastening, as in Figure 53. 

Fig. 53. — Double Hitch Fastening 

Many metals used for angling implements are 
some kind of copper alloy, which may be oxidised 
by Mr. Wells's recipe, as follows: In a 
wide-mouthed bottle put a pound of or- 
dinary nitric acid and a silver ten cent piece. Put 
in a warm place with the glass stopper loose, and 
allow to remain until the silver is dissolved (two or 
three days at least). Then add four inches of rathor 
thick copper wire, which dissolves rapidly. Scrub 
and dry the metal for treatment, and secure it to a 
poker by means of copper wire. Dip it in the solution, 
shake off drops, and hold it in a bright fiame (alcohol 
or gas best). It will turn green, then black, when it 
is removed from the heat, and allowed to cool. Rub 

238 The Way of the Woods 

smooth. The result will be a surface of black oxide 
of copper. 


The object of casting is to present the lure to the 
fish in the most advantageous manner, the principal 
point being to drop it lightly on the water, as if it 
were a natural insect, and in any desired spot within 
a radius of from forty to sixty feet, according to one's 
powers. The latter distance would be short in a 
fly-casting tournament, but very few men can make 
a cast of even fifty feet and still have the flies alight 
gently, falling, as it were, of their own weight. In 
tournament casting very long throws invariably 
result in the flies being slapped on the water in a 
manner more likely to frighten than to entice the 
fish, except in turbulent water. The casting of such 
men as Leonard, Darling, Frazer, Mills, and others 
of the first class is both marvellous and instructive, 
but the beginner is recommended to forget long casting 
in tournaments entirely when he joints his rod on a 
trout stream, for distance is entirely secondary, yes, 
tertiary, to lightness and accuracy. 

The best way to learn to cast the fly is to put one- 
self in the hands of an experienced friend. Failing 
L amins '^^^^^ proceed as follows. Rig the rod with 
reel and line but without leader or fly. 
Take an easy stand with the left foot slightly in 
advance, either on the bank of a stream with plenty 
of room before and behind, or, if more convenient, 
on a lawn. Grasp the rod in the right hand as in the 
cut, the thumb on that part of the handle where the 
rod seems to balance best. From the very first keep 



two things in mind. First, remember that casting 
is a matter of wrist and not arm movement, and, 
secondly, during practice, especially for the first few 
weeks, keep the casting-arm very close to, if not 
actually touching, the body. If the latter rule is 
rigidly adhered to, a correct and easy action will 
follow of itself. At first the elbow should hug the 

Fig. 54.— Position at Be- 
ginning and End of Cast 

Fig. 5 5. — Position at 
Top of Back-Cast 

body even at the end of the cast. With growing 
efficiency the caster's movements may, in fact 
necessarily will, be modified and become freer. Pull 
from the reel with the free hand as much line as will 
reach twice the length of the rod and let it lie on the 
ground in front of you. Now, holding the rod with the 
tip slightly above the horizontal, forget for a moment 
that your arm consists of anything but a wrist, and 

240 The Way of the Woods 

with a sharp upward movement of the wrist laided 
involuntarily, of course, by the forearm) cause the 
B k t ^^^ ^^ sweep up smartly, checking the 
movement when it points over the 
shoulder, but not farther back than to make it 
form an angle of over thirty degrees with the body. 
The result of this upward flip will be that the 
line will fly up into the air and out behind until 
it is straight. This is the back-cast, which is com- 
pleted the moment the line straightens out behind, 
the rod at that instant being slightly bent back 
by the weight of the line and the impetus of the 

Now just at the nick of time (no sooner, no later) 
the rod is swept down again by a quick, almost jerky 
Forward- movement of the wrist, which is suddenly 
cast arrested so that the rod shall not form a 

smaller angle with the water than fifteen degrees. (Fig- 
ure 54.) This is the forward-cast. From the above 
it will appear that the cast consists of three periods: 
the back-cast, the pause while the line straightens 
out behind, and the forward-cast. Of these the 
first movement, or back-cast, is the most important 
element so far as the beginner is concerned, for, if not 
mastered, proper casting will ever remain to him a 
closed book. Two general mistakes should be guarded 
against from the very first: the use of arm instead 
of wrist, and too little energy. The movement should 
be a quick and strong flip, almost a jerk, the flies 
being twitched off the water and tossed into the air, 
not horizontally backward, but skyward, above the 
head (steeple-cast). This throwing the flies up and 
not only back will correct the almost universal 
mistake of beginners: allowing the rod- tip to drop 

Fishing 241 

too low behind the body, often causing the flies to 
strike the water or ground behind, which is both ugly 
and fatal to the cast. Having mastered the back- 
cast, turn your attention to the second 
important element, the pause between 
back and forward casts, also pretty generally neglected 
by beginners, the result being that the forward move- 
ment is made before the flies stream out behind, and 
the line will not shoot out properly, besides which 
the flies are apt to be snapped off. This premature 
forward-cast is generally detected by the distinct 
snap of the leader. Rather exaggerate the length 
of the pause between the casts, and never forget 
that the complete cast consists of three, not two, 
periods. Here is where the coach comes in, who 
shall call out "Now!** the instant the line is straight 
out behind. When alone the beginner should count 
three in casting, about as follows: **One!'' (as the 
rod is swept upward) ; "Two !" (as the line and leader 
straighten out behind, the rod being held motionless) ; 
" Three r* (as the forward movement begins). Do 
everything smartly but cleanly. Avoid dragging or 
lackadaisical movements, and remember first, last, 
and all the time that it is a matter of the wrist! 

Casting is less a matter of muscle than of knack. 
It is the art of making the movement so correctly, 
and so timed to the tenth part of a second, that no 
portion of the expended energy is wasted, and so that 
the rod will respond with all the power there is in it. 
"Let the rod do the work," is an old and sound 

When you are able to' lay out two or three rods* 
length of line with perfect ease, and without snapping 
the line or hitting the ground or water on either 

242 The Way of the Woods 

side with the tip, and can lay the line across any part 
of the water aimed at, tie on your leader and a single 
rather large fly (best with barb cut off, so as not to 
catch in the foliage or your friend*s ear), and gradually 
lengthen your line as you improve, but master one 
length before adding another yard. In order to 
avoid slapping the water with the fly observe the 
following golden rule: aim your fly at an imaginary 
point in the air about a yard above the spot in the 
water upon which you wish it to fall; then, even, 
if the cast is a little brutal, the energy will be expended 
in the air and the fly will fall lightly upon the surface. 

When you are able always to place a fly gently upon 
any desired spot within forty feet you are an expert 
so far as trout-angling is concerned. Few can do 

Another important piece of advice : learn from the 
first to cast with either hand, so that the work will 
be divided and neither will tire; and because the 
position of the boat or canoe, the direction of the 
wind or current, overhanging foliage, or some other 
element, may render it awkward or even impossible 
to cast with the accustomed hand. Learn this ambi- 
dexterity from the start, as later it is much more 
difficult. Of course each will always have his favour- 
ite hand, but the other should be ready to help out. 

When fishing humour arm, wrist, and hand. Do not 
grip the handle spasmodically, but hold it quietly, 
occasionally favouring this or that finger by changing 
the force of the grip. This will prevent cramp and 
keep the muscles supple. 

For hints regarding the management of the cast 
in actual fishing consult the section on Trout-Fishing, 

The regular cast described above, which is usually 

Fishing 243 

called the overhead-cast, since the flies are thrown 
up into the air, is the one which will be employed four 
fifths of the time in actual fishing, and, it once mas- 
tered, the many variations will come easily. Of 
these may be mentioned the wind-cast, used when 
the wind is from the direction in which the cast is to 
be made. It is merely a sharp, quick overhead-cast 
with a very forcible forward-cast, the rod being brought 
down so that the tip all but touches the water. The 
underhand-cast, used when obstructions prevent the 
overhead, is carried out by switching the line sharply 
to one side, and, when the leader has straightened 
out, switching it back and out. Naturally no great 
distance can be covered thus, but the cast is often 
very useful. When no back or side cast is possible, 
which is sometimes the case on small, overhung 
streams, resort must be had to the flip-cast, which 
can be made only with a line about as long as the 
rod. The fly is held between thumb and forefinger of 
the free hand (don't hook yourself!), pulled back so 
that the rod is bent, and then released, the spring: of 
the rod jerking the fly out upon the water. Other 
casts of more complicated nature need not concern 
the trout-angler. Those interested in tournament 
casting may consult Lou S. Darling's valuable little 
book. Tournament Casting (Forest and Stream 
Publishing Company, New York). 


The brook-trout of eastern North America (sal- 
velinus fontinalis, i. e., charr of the springs) has been 
assigned by the wise men to that class of trouts called 
charr {salvelinus) because, unlike the salmon (salmo) 
and the trouts built exactly like the latter, it has no 

244 The Way of the Woods 

teeth on the front part of the bone of the roof of 
the mouth. This minor structural difference need 
not bother the angler, for our brook-trout is not only 
the most beautiful thing that swims, but yields to 
no trout in fighting qualities. He lives only in the 
coldest and purest of water and will rather starve 
than feed upon carrion of any kind. Mr. W. C. 
Harris says, 

*'No other fish known to anglers possesses habits so free 
from grossness as the brook trout of the East. . . . When 
you hold him, seemingly exhausted, hard and fast in your 
hand, to take the hook from his mouth, he will draw his 
muscles tense and strong in a final effort for liberty, — ^no 
other game fish, to my knowledge, makes this powerful, 
convulsive struggle after capture and apparent exhaustion " 
(Salmon and Trout), 

If not already in the streams it begins to ascend 
them in September and spawns in October and 
later, usually in the sand as far up-stream as it can 
get. From April to the middle of July (in Canada) 
it lives for the most part in the streams, where it 
finds its most abundant food-supply in the shape of 
insects, small fish, and even such tidbits as young 
mice. By the beginning of hot weather it has re- 
turned to deep water, usually the lakes, or, if none 
are available, the deeper pools or under the shade of 
lily-pads. In the lakes it will most often be found 
off the mouths of cool streams, sometimes in very 
shallow water, under the pads. 

Our trout is clipper-built and symmetrical, with 
powerful tail and large mouth, the lower jaw often 
projecting beyond the upper, especially in old fish. 
The tail when spread has almost no fork, giving rise 
to th^ familiar Maine term, "square-tail trout," 

Fishing 245 

The rich, dark olive-green back is vermiculated and 
its dark-golden sides are ornamented, both above 
and below the dark horizontal median line, with 
yellow spots, as well as bejewelled with a lesser mmiber 
of brilliant red dots set within areolae of sapphire, 
whence the name "speckled trout.'* The red-and- 
black fins are bordered with white. The belly ranges 
in hue from the rich gold of the spawning attire 
through many shades of yellow to grey and even pure 
white, according to season and the colour and nature 
of the bottom, for no fish is so sensitive in this regard. 
The sea-trout, which is merely the brook-trout which 
runs down to the sea at certain periods, returns so 
silvery light in hue that it was for years held to be 
a separate species, while trout taken from deep 
shaded pools are often nearly black. In the spawning 
season the colouring is richest, and not even the gor- 
geous fishes of the tropics can rival fontinalis at this 
time. These differences in tint, which extend even 
to the colour of the flesh, led in former times to the 
erroneous belief that there were many subspecies 
of brook-trout. It is a pity that, when confined 
in aquaria, this incomparable fish loses most of its 
brilliant colouring. 

Genuine salvelinus fontinalis of ten pounds and 
even heavier weight are occasionally taken in the 
Rangeley Lakes of Maine and in some 
waters of Canada, but such monsters are 
very rare. In other regions a three-pounder may be 
considered a ** whale, " and a two-pounder a very large 
fish. But let us cheer up, for every ounce a trout 
gains after he weighs if pounds tends to make him 
sluggish, though of course there are heavy fish that 

246 The Way of the Woods 

fight splendidly. After all it is not a matter of 
weight by any means, but of fighting quality. Trout 
are individual, like men. It always seemed to me 
a little ridiculous to see in some angler's sanctum the 
stuffed skin of a five-pound trout with a huge pot- 
belly and absolutely no pretence to beauty. Why 
set up in our halls statues of Venus and of the Apollo 
Belvedere when we can get a figure of Daniel Lambert, 
the fattest man who ever lived? A trout should be 
valued first by the fight he puts up, secondly by 
his beauty of form and colour, and thirdly by his 

In general ordinary camp costume will do. We 
may leave mackintosh and rubber wading-boots and 
stockings to the angler who goes forth 
from some country hotel, as they are heavy 
and cumbersome, and, though impervious to water 
when new, they never keep the feet dry, for the simple 
reason that the feet unfailingly sweat in them. Nor 
are heavy wading brogans necessary. The best 
thing to do is to get over any shyness of wet feet as 
soon as possible, for you will not be injured by that 
condition so long as you wear woollen stockings and 
drawers. When you get to camp dry off before the 
fire in coldish weather or change for dry togs; in 
warm weather most people prefer to let their wet 
footwear dry on them. If you have a decided ten- 
dency to rheumatism keep out of the water as much 
as possible. 

For wading, which involves springing from rock 

to rock, shoes having stout soles studded with a few 

well-placed small (Hungarian) hobnails are best. I 

refer shoepacks (see p. 23) with such nails, and very 

Fishing 247 

seldom slip, protecting my ankles and calves with a 
pair of stout leggings. Ankle-shoes are perhaps 
a better protection from the rocks. If high shoes 
are worn a sUt or two near the sole will allow the 
water to run out. One should be careful when 
wearing hobnailed shoes not to injure the bottom 
of the canoe. ** Sneakers'* cling to the rocks while 
they last, but that is not long, and they offer little 
protection against sharp rocks. If shoes are kept 
well greased they will dry soft, or rather will not 
really get wet, but can be emptied of water and put 
on again. 

A stout leather belt should be worn, from which 
the hunting-knife is suspended. If it g^j^ 

has a shiny buckle turn it to the rear. 

In fly-time a pair of stout dogskin or buckskin 
gloves, well greased and with the ends of the fingers 
cut off, may be recommended, as the 
hands are always a principal point of ^^^® 

attack, especially the rod-hand. 

On the person are carried the head-net, dope-can, 
balance-spring scales, fly-book, cast-case or leader- 
box, and the miscellaneous contents of the « . 
pockets (jack-knife, match-box, tobacco- 
pouch, compass, pipe, emergency lunch, etc.). 

A shallow japanned tin box, 5 J by 3 inches, I 
have found large enough to contain a bit of wax, 
rod-cement, fine screw-driver, cutters, 
tweezers, winding-silk, a few guides or ®P*"^' 
guide-rings and keepers, extra tips, flat file, oil-can, 

248 The Way of the Woods 

rubber bands, foot of copper wire, small screws, 

On canoe-trips I have found a small stout leather 
shopping-bag that has outlived its beauty a most 
practical convenience. In it may be kept 
* " ^ all the fishing-tackle and other small 
articles. It does not leave the canoe but serves as 
a general store on day trips. Grease it thoroughly 
on the outside. Fish-creels are seldom taken on 
long to\irs in the woods. 

The rules and considerations contained in the 
following pages must be regarded merely in the 
light of stimulating hints, for in no sport does ex- 
perience claim a larger share than in fly-fishing for 
trout. Let the beginner assimilate as many of them 
as he can, and then, after a few days on the stream, 
reread them carefully, with a view to recognising 
how far short of them he may have fallen. In the 
light of his experience many of them will have ac- 
quired new significance. 

Arrived upon the chosen water the angler is con- 
fronted with manifold practical considerations: at 
what time of day to fish, whether up or down-stream, 
what flies to use, how to stand, to cast, to manipulate 
the flies, to hook the fish, to play it, and to net it. 

To this question may be given the same answer 
as to the query: "At what time are the trout feeding 
Time of Day on the surface?'* In early spring, when 
to Fish the mornings are cold, there will be few 
flies on the water, and consequently the trout are 
not likely to be stirring, for which reason there is 

Fishing 249 

no necessity to turn out before breakfast, for the 
fishing is likely to be better at nine or ten than at 
eight o*clock. At this season it will probably con- 
tinue all day, stopping when the chill of evening 
comes. Later, as the summer approaches, the flies, 
and consequently the trout, will be astir at an earlier 
hour, and in really hot weather the very early, 
before-breakfast angler will find his justification, 
while there will be little use in wetting a line between 
noon and four o*clock, though exceptions are many. 
In summer the best fishing is often enjoyed in the 
evening hours, say from 6 to 7.30. 

Extremes are not generally good for fishing. On 
cold, raw days the fish will not rise freely and those 
that do will be sluggish, while the same General 
is true on very hot, sunny days. It is no Weather 
fun to fly-fish in a heavy wind or in a Conditions 
pouring rain. The old-time fisherman's day, which 
was always overcast, is by no means a necessity; 
rather the contrary, for the reason that the sun 
brings out the insects, and it is the angler's bitter- 
sweet experience that trout-bites and fly-bites go 
together. A warm rain, if not hard, is an ideal 
condition, and I have found a fog in summer very 
favourable. A perfect calm allows the fish too clear 
a vision, a light breeze, which rufiies the surface, 
being more advantageous. The old rule which says 
that trout never rise during a thunder-storm is quite 
wrong; I have often enjoyed lively fly-fishing during 
heavy thunder. We all know how fickle the sensitive 
trout is, and no man can fathom its vagaries, as, 
for example, why, with no apparent reason, rising 
will stop of a sudden, during good fishing, as if 

250 The Way of the Woods 

by some signal from the king of the pool. In 
Canada I have often observed this at stmdown in 

If the chosen water is reached on foot by a path 
through the woods, it is best to carry the rod un- 
Up- or jointed, the joints being held together by 
Down- rubber bands. Arrived at the point where 
stream. the first cast is to be made, the first ques- 
tion that arises is whether to fish up-stream, as in Eng- 
land, or with the stream. Across the ocean, where the 
streams are usually of a clear and tranquil nature, 
up-stream fishing is the only approved method, and 
for two principal reasons: first, because all fish 
lie facing up-stream and cannot therefore see the 
angler as he casts the fly over them, and, secondly, 
because the fish takes the fly as it floats down; for 
it must be remembered that the European trout dines 
mostly off drowned insects. In our country, how- 
ever, where most streams have a strong and often 
boisterous current, and where the lure, to be tempting, 
must be agitated, it is manifestly impossible to adhere 
to this rule, for the fly would be swirled down upon 
the angler in a jiffy. Therefore rapid waters are 
with us fished down-stream. But this rule has ex- 
ceptions, and I strongly recommend that, where 
possible, up-stream fishing be practised. Upon 
streams, like those in Nova Scotia, for example, 
where rapids alternate with ** still- waters" having 
very little current, it is best to fish the rapids down- 
stream, but, when a still-water is reached, to go 
round to its foot and fish it up. This recommenda- 
tion, I am quite aware, is extremely unlikely to be 
acted upon, for not only does it involve a certain 

Fishing 251 

loss of time, but the banks are generally so thickly- 
grown that a double journey along them is an under- 
taking not lightly to be carried out. Up-stream 
fishing does not necessarily mean casting directly 
against the current, but rather diagonally across and 
up the stream, which makes the handling of the fly 
and line easier. 

Arrived upon the scene of action the tackle will 
have been made ready en route if by canoe; otherwise 
this is done well out of sight of the fish. 
As to the choice of flies and the method ^^ 
of casting enough has been said under Fly-tackle. 
The angler stations himself so that the shadow of 
himself and of his rod will not be thrown upon the 
water, and, keeping as far back from the brink as 
practicable, makes his first cast over the spot nearest 
to him where fish are likely to lie, not forgetting 
to cast at an imaginary spot a few feet directly above 
the place where the fly shall fall. Fish Lengthen- 
the nearest likely places first on all sides, '^Z Casts 
and then gradually extend the length of the casts by 
pulling off more line from the reel with the left hand 
just before the line is retrieved from the water. 

The manipulation of the hands in actual fishing 
is of great importance, but is about the last thing a 
beginner learns. The work of the rod- xh H d 
hand is simple. It grasps the handle with 
thumb on top, the line being held under the fore- 
finger (or fore and second fingers), but not very 
tightly (Figure 55). Running thus through the fin- 
gers from the reel, the line may either be completely 
checked, as while casting or when stopping a running 


The Way of the Woods 

fish, or the fore-finger may be used merely as a drag, 
i, e., letting the line run out but slowly and with 
pressure on the fish. The right hand is thus ever in 
motion of some kind, according 
to the exigencies of the mo- 
ment. The left hand (of a 
right-handed angler) is the 
general assistant of the rod- 
hand, and its principal task is 
to pull more line off the reel in 
lengthening the cast, while it 
is also employed in keeping the 
line from fouling. When a 
fish of any size is hooked, the 
left hand grasps the line just 
above the reel and the fish is 
played in this position, the 
sensitiveness of the hand feel- 
ing just how much pressure 
may be put upon the fish and 
when to reel in (Figure 56). 
The pulling off of line with the 
left hand is apt to result in many yards of line 
lying at the angler's feet, a condition prone to fouling; 
for which reason the unnecessary slack should be 
reeled in as occasion offers, though most fishermen 
prefer to have a yard or more of loose line between 
the reel and the left hand "to work on.*' 

F1G.-56. Position in 
Playing a Fish 

Some shipwrecked insects do not struggle when 
being borne down-stream, but inost of them cer- 
Movement tainly do, and for this reason the artificial 
of Fly fly should be given a wriggling motion 

by means of slight movements of the wrist, hard to 

Fishing 253 

describe but easy to discover by experiment. If luck 
is bad, success may be wooed by allowing the fly to 
sink several inches and then retrieving it by a series 
of tiny jerks (submerged fly). This is best done in 
comparatively quiet water, and is usually employed 
in waters inhabited by very large fish, on which 
account it is the favourite method of anglers in the 
Rangeley Lakes region, the home of gigantic if some- 
what less lively brook-trout. Often when trout 
are rising but will take no notice of your lure they 
may be got by changing to a much smaller size of 
fly on a light leader, especially if you have one re- 
sembling the natural insect on which the fish are 
feeding. This is particularly the case in the mayfly 
season, when the feed is so good that the trout need 
take no special trouble to secure a sumptuous repast. 
Often at this time it is as well to put up one's rod 
and turn to philosophy and a pipe. But words are 
really wasted on this subject; trout are odd and fickle 
fish, and the only rule is to try them with one thing 
after another until they do rise or it is time to return 
to camp. Of "dry-fly" fishing I will speak at the 
end of this chapter. 

Beginners are prone to fall into two special weak- 
nesses in manipulating the fly. First, they do not 
keep the fly or flies long enough on the Keep Your 
water, but retrieve too quickly. The other Line Wet 
mistake is the exact opposite: the flies are allowed 
to remain on the water so long that when the angler 
strives to retrieve them he finds that he has no proper 
leverage. Worse than that, if a fish of any size 
should take the fly at that time (when it is too near the 
angler) one of two things is pretty sure to happen: 

2 54 The Way of the Woods 

either the rod will break or the fish will be lost, and 
a combination of these two disasters is not un- 
common. Therefore, while "keeping your line wet," 
i, e., dragging the fly over as much water as practi- 
cable, do not postpone the back-cast too long. 

The brook-trout is a savage striker, so much so 
that in his dan he often fails to mouth the fly, some- 
The Rise ^i^^s, if he is small, making half a dozen 
or more abortive attempts to secure it, 
either leaping clear over it or striking short. The 
latter blunder occurs not so much from bad marks- 
manship as because of the extraordinary antics of 
the usual artificial fly, which, contrary to all the 
known rules of entomology and physics, spends most 
of its time in swimming directly against the stream, 
while the natural insect is swept steadily down. 
Unlike the more deliberate European trout, fon- 
tinalis will, four times out of five, show a goodly 
portion of himself, and not infrequently his whole 
body, in his rush for the fly, for his savage upward 
shoot is apt to take him clear of the surafce. Espe- 
cially the little chaps will often turn complete sum- 
mersaults in the air and fall on their backs, while the 
big fellows execute the "porpoise jtmip, " a graceful 
aerial curve, the fly being mouthed at its end. If 
checked the trout will leap from the water when 
hooked, but almost never on a slack line, as the bass 

The rising of the trout to the fly, a feature which 

serves to mark the vast superiority of 

^ fly-fishing over the use of bait (saving Mr. 

Cleveland's presence!), is a delicious moment. You 

Fishing 255 

never know exactly when it is coming, but when it 
does, then hook your fish. This is done at the mo- 
ment the hook is actually in the trout's mouth (only 
a second or two) by a movement of the wrist, the 
force of which is regulated by circtmistances. The 
old and trite "turn of the wrist" will do for small 
fish in water which has some current; in fact in 
rapid water the fish generally hooks itself, and one 
must have a care not to add so much force to that 
of the current and the strength of the fish combined 
as to tear out the hook. For large fish, however, 
especially in quiet water, one must, as Mr. Wells 
says, "sock it to them*' with the line firmly held 
under the forefinger. This means a quick and sharp 
jerk upwards with the wrist and forearm. The 
whole matter of hooking a rising fish is one of judg- 
ment and temperament. Slow-thinking and acting 
people hardly ever become good fly- fishermen, while 
again very nervous persons often jerk the fly away 
before the fish has actually mouthed it. More fish 
are lost in the hooking process than at any other 
stage of the game, the strike being either too early 
or too late, too hard or too gentle. 

Those whose tendency is to strike too hard may 
strike the rising fish from the reel, that is, without 
checking the line with the forefinger. Striking 
This will make the strike gentler, for the from 

reason that some line will be pulled from *^® ^®®^ 
the reel. Of course this can be done only with reels 
having a rather strong click apparatus, which most 
good reels possess. 

After the display (i. e,, covering the water) of 

2S6 The Way of the Woods 

the fly and the successful hooking of the fish comes 
the important element of the playing, or manipula- 
Plavine *^^^ ^^ *^^ trout until he has been netted. 
The secret of this is to keep one's line 
taut every instant until the strain, thus continuously 
exerted, finally overpowers the trout's strength and 
he can be led within reach of the net. This strain 
must be regulated by the size of the fish, the delicacy 
of the tackle, and the character of the water. The 
general fault is to **brutalise*' the fish, seeking to 
drag him to the net at once, a plan which too often 
succeeds with the overstrong leaders and large flies 
commonly used. But you are not likely to fall 
into this unsportsmanlike habit if your leaders and 
flies are as delicate as they should be, for after -one 
or two mishaps you will discover that the fish has 
a good chance and that he must be humoured and 
gradually worn down. During the whole process 
of playing keep the tip of the rod well up, and see that 
the rod has a constant bend. At the first prick of 
the hook the trout will dash off and very likely shake 
himself violently. Right here novices commonly 
make the mistake of checking him too abruptly. 
The best way is to check him but with free reel, so 
that he will pull out more line rather than break the 
gut. As soon as he quiets down keep the strain on 
him, and lead him from side to side if the water is 
smooth enough. The main thing is to play the fish 
until he is docile. Exceptions occur, of course; for 
instance in running water, where stronger tackle is 
recommended. The forefinger may be kept on the 
line, but not so firmly as to prevent its running out 
should the fish make a sudden start. The free hand 
(as described above) is used as a reel and drag. 

Fishing 257 

So long as the fish fights make no attempt to do 
more than keep him from taking refuge in weeds or 
under logs, roots, and other obstructions, which he 
will infallibly endeavour to reach, in order to break 
the tackle and get free. Meet his every movement 
with a counteraction, humouring or checking him, 
as the case warrants, but never allowing the line to 
slacken for an instant. When he tires urge him 
gently towards the net, which is held at the surface 
of the water, ready to be slipped under the fish. When 
he sees it he will be sure to make another dash for 
liberty, and just here many a fish is lost, the angler 
being taken off his guard. Never forget that fon- 
tinalis will fight as long as he can wriggle, and jrields 
only to complete exhaustion. His fighting qualities, 
like those of other game fish, vary with season, 
weather, feed, and water. Small fish are proportion- 
ately the best fighters, and, in most waters, those 
that offer the most lively resistance will weigh be- 
tween J lb. and 1} lbs., though of course $uch a rule 
has many exceptions. The point to be insisted upon 
is, that it is quite wrong to judge a trout by his weight 
alone, as most people do. He should be judged by 
his gaminess and the consequent sport given. The 
largest trout I ever killed failed to give me such a 
struggle as many half his size. Of course this sounds 
like pure preaching, and anglers will go on to eternity 
boasting of ''the big fish,*' and believing that a man 
who takes twenty trout is a bettfer fisherman than he 
who kills ten, and for that reason only. As a matter 
of fact the angler has it in his power to instire himself 
the best of sport (I mean real angling and not dragging 
scores of fish into the boat) by merely fitting the 
strength of his tackle to the size of the fish where he 

2s8 The Way of the Woods 

wets his flies. A quarter-pound trout on a 3- or 
4-0Z. rod, with gossamer leader and No. 10 or 12 fly, 
will very likely afford as much sport as a 2-pounder 
on a loi foot rod, unbreakable leader, and large fly. 
If you ever get surfeited with trout-fishing try angling 
with flies from the hooks of which the barbs have 
been filed. With these the slightest mistake in 
playing results in the unhooking and loss of the fish. 
It is delicate, artistic, and interesting work, but not 
calculated to please the fish-hogs. 

If a guide or other companion is present who does 
the netting, he should hold the net at the surface of 
Netting *^^ water in such a position that, as the 
trout is brought to it, it can be slipped 
quietly but quickly under him and then lifted. Let 
there be no flurry and no wild scooping at fish that 
are not yet within reach. There is always a par- 
donable eagerness to get a big fish safely netted, but 
if he cannot be brought to it he must be played 
longer. In case the angler nets his own fish he must 
be doubly careful not to act prematurely. Holding 
the exhausted fish on a line just long enough to allow 
him to be floated over the net, let net and fish ap- 
proach each other by a simultaneous movement of 
the two hands. Coolness and deftness are needed. 

If you have no net the fish must be completely 
tired out before attempting to land him. Then 
Landing either work him to some low place on 
with- the bank and drag him out with a quick 

out Net jj^^ deliberate movement, or (when afloat) 
reach carefully down with the free hand and grasp 
the trout through the gills with forefinger and thumb 


Fishing 259 

— somewhat easier said than done. To lift a fish of 
any size with the rod alone injures the latter. A 
large fish can sometimes be knocked on the head 
alongside the canoe. 

When your beauty lies gasping in the net, grasp 
him firmly with the left hand, lift him out, and either 
break his neck by bending his head back Kill Im- 
smartly, or give him a rap on the base of mediately 
the head with the back of your hunting-knife. In 
any and every case kill him as soon as possible after 
capture, providing you wish to keep him. If not, 
gloat over his beauty for not too long a time and 
return him to the stream to grow and to gladden the 
hearts of your happy successors. 

There is a foolish notion abroad that trout taste 
better if allowed to die slowly, but, even if this were 
true, no such bloodthirsty cruelty would be justifiable. 
The real sportsman is always humane, and loves his 
game even while killing it. 

This seems the proper place to urge upon the 
autimin fisherman never to kill female trout at that 
season, but to return them to the water, as then they 
are full of nearly ripe eggs. A gravid female can 
usually be told by the contour of the belly. A slight 
squeeze will often cause the spawn to exude. 

If the fish are to be eaten within a few hours it 
makes little difference how they are kept, though 
they should be protected from both sun Keeping 
and water. The latter has the worst Fish 

effect and dead fish must not be allowed to lie in 
water. In the creel they should be kept in dry 
moss or leaves. A good rule, especially when the 

26o The Way of the Woods 

trout are to be eaten after twelve hours, is to wipe 
the fish dry and cover them carefully, so that the^ 
sun will not touch them. When shipped they should' 
be cleaned, wiped dry, and done up individually in 
stout paper (wax or parchment paper best), or in 
cloth, so that the ice, in which the fish must be 
packed, will not come in direct contact with them. 
If there is no ice wipe the cleaned fish dry and rub 
salt along the backbone. In all cases where the fish 
are to be a day on the journey rub with salt. An old 
woodsman's trick is to sun-bake for a few minutes, 
until the skin is dried stiff, and then keep from the 
sun and wet. In this state the fish are not handsome 
but remain fresh. 

Cleaned and salted fish, wiped dry and folded 
individually in cloth, the whole bundle then sewn 
up in stout canvas or some other material, will keep 
a long time without ice. The eyes and gills must be 
removed. The split is made down the back. 

Split along the back, clean, and salt well. (It is 
better to let them lie in brine overnight.) Then lay 
Curing upon racks over a heavy smudge, where 
Fish they should remain for two days. This 

requires attention, and many fish are spoiled because 
no one remains in camp to keep the smudge going. 

Many are the laments that the beautiful colouring 
of our brook-trout fades within a short time after 
Preserving capture, but Mr. J. H. Keene tells us 
the Colour that, if each trout is wrapped separately 
in a sheet of tissue paper the moment it is killed, 
"it will keep for many hours as bright as if fresh 
from the water.'* 










Fishing 261 

Some of our northern brooks, and even lakelets, 
are enqlosed with banks so overgrown with dense 
jungle that the use of the net, except in Bush 

places where wading is practicable, is Fishing 
impossible. For such fishing a delicate rod should not 
be used, but a considerably stiffer one with a top 
strong enough to lift out any fish likely to be taken. 
For this work I have found the right thing to be a 
6i-oz. wooden rod with a top cut down to about f its 
original length. The leader should not be over 4 
or 5 feet long, as it is often awkward to have the fly 
farther than that from the tip in certain brush- 
overhung pools, where the rod must be thrust through 
narrow openings in the foliage. Acquire the habit 
of looking behind you before every cast, to avoid 
being **hung up.** 

In fishing a v/coded Btrcam there are two ways of 
carrying the nK)unte4 rod, butt foremost and tip 
foremost. Of these either will do if the Carrying 
bushes are not thick, but in dense jungle the Rod 
carry the tip pointed ahead, as by the other method 
one's flies are constantly being caught in the foliage. 
If the tip points ahead one can aim it so that it will 
avoid the danger points. But be very careful or you 
will run your tip against a tree, and then vale top! 
The more flies one uses the more annoying is a walk 
through thick bush. In case one has to walk a 
quarter of a mile or more it is generally economy 
of time and temper to take down the rod. 

When "hung up*' in a lofty branch subdue your 
rising temper at once, and give a little dry twitch, 
very lights just to ascertain how strongly the hook 

262 The Way of the Woods 

is fixed, as often such a twitch will result in freeing 
the hook. If fast do not jerk frantically, but coolly 
Getting diagnose the situation. There are several 
"Hung Up" things to do. If you possess a ** releaser, " 
of which there are several on the market, attach it 
to the tip of your rod and cut the branch just below 
the imprisoned hook. If too high or in too large a 
branch climb the tree, or bend down the branch, or 
lop it off with a hatchet, or cut the tree down, if 
small. If you decide to sacrifice the fly, pull steadily 
on the line until something parts, and try to do it 
smilingly. Above all do not jerk the rod or the top 
will go, especially if of solid wood. 

H. P. Wells: Fly-Rods and Fly-Tackle \ Salmon and 
Trout, in the American Sportsman's Library; Fly- 
g^ , Fishing and Fly-Tackle, by J. H. Keene; 

L. BAiead: She Speckled Brook Trout; Or- 
vis and Cheney: Fishing with the Fly; Mary Orvis 
Marbury: Favorite Flies and Their History; Edward 
A. Samuels: With Fly-Rod and Camera; Charles 
Bradford: The Angler's Guide, 

There are legions of charming books on trout-fishing, 
but most are more concerned with the picturesque 
side of the sport than the technical. 


The dry-fly is an exact imitation of some natural 
insect, fashioned as truly like the original as the most 
experienced and delicate-handed masters of the art 
of fly-tying can make it, except for the hook, which 
is a wee sma* thing, hardly ever larger than our No. 
12 and often much smaller. Its body is made of 
cork or straw to make it buoyant, and, attached to 


Pishing 263 

a leader of almost invisible delicacy, it is allowed to 
fall upon the water in, or a few feet above, the ring 
made by a rising trout and float down over the spot 
with the current, which necessarily must be gentle. 
The idea, of course, is not 
a novel one, but within a 
dozen years or thereabouts 
a distinct school of dry- 
fly anglers has arisen in 
England, the adherents of sedgeandoir^''^ Dry-Fhes; 
which are almost fanatical 

in their devotion to it, and would rather not fish 
than use other methods, which, it must be confessed, 
are founded upon the highest sportsmanship, although 
over-narrow in their application. 

The first great difference between the wet- and the 
dry-fly angler is that the former holds it a part of 
his skill to discover the likely places where the big 
ones are waiting, while his "purist" brother never 
casts his fly (always a single one) until he sees a 
rising fish. He may discover a dozen in the stream 
but, if they be not feeding, he must wait until they 
do. As this method of angling is practised for the 
most part on the clear, quiet chalk streams of Eng- 
land, where the fish are "educated" and the lim- 
pidity of the water allows them to see the angler 
easily, recourse is had to stalking the trout, i. e,, ap- 
proaching under cover as much as possible, and even 
on hands and knees or crawling. Arriving within 
range of the ring made by the rising fish the line is 
switched a number of times through the air until the 
proper length has been drawn from the reel. This is 
in order that no false cast shall be made, but the fly 
fall in the right spot the very first time. All must be 

264 The Way of the Woods 

clean, delicate and deliberate. If the fish fails to 
notice the fly, which of course has been chosen to 
imitate the flies actually on the water at the moment, 
another fly is tried after one or two further casts. 

It was inevitable that American fishermen should 
wish to transfer to their own waters this highest de- 
velopment of the art of angling, and many of us 
have practised it here as we were taught on the Itchen 
or the Test, but, so far as I have been able to gather, 
with indifferent success, at least in the waters of 
the north woods. The reason for this lies in the fact 
that fontinalis, except in preserved ponds, disdains 
dead bait. I have frequently, after faithfully allow- 
ing my dry-fly to float down over the fish without 
success, resorted to using the same fly as if it were a 
Professor or a Silver-Doctor and at once captured 
my fish. Another reason may be that hitherto 
Americans have not been able to purchase dry-flies 
tied in imitation of American insects, but have been 
obliged to be content with English importations — a 
state of affairs hardly creditable to our tackle-dealers. 

F. Halfordjs Dry Fly Fishing and Floating Flies; 
Sir Edward Grey's Fly Fishing; G. Dewar's 
Book of the Dry Fly; Sidney Buxton's 
Shooting and Fishing. 


The rod for bait- fishing may be from 9 to 10 feet 

long and have the reel-seat either below or above the 

_ handle. Split-bamboo is excellent, but, 

as the top must be strong enough to 

* derrick out** the fish occasionally without a net. I 

Fishing 265 

prefer a wooden fly-rod the top of which has been 
cut down to two thirds its original length. This 
will throw a line far enough and can be used as a 
fly-rt)d for bush-fishing. Any reel will do, the handle 
of which does not protrude far enough to foul the 
line. It need not be large, as few very long casts 
will be necessary. An enamelled line is best, as it 
tangles less easily. Hooks are a matter of taste. 
Long-shanked ones are best for worm-fishing and they 
should have gut snells. The sneck style is good for 
worm. Nos. 8 and 10 are the right sizes. Buy best 
quality hooks, and if your hooks must have a weak- 
ness let them rather bend than break, for then they 
can be recovered from snag or tree and be put in 
commission again. A small swivel sinker is some- 
times used in deep, swift water, but usually one or 
two split-shot suffice, and often, perhaps mostly, no 
sinker at all need be used, as in quick water the trout 
feed near the surface. The best bait is the old re- 
liable angleworm, scornfully dubbed the "garden- 
hackle" by the fly-fisherman. The supply should 
never be kept in dirt, but in clean moss,which bright- 
ens and toughens the worms, and moss should also 
be placed in the pocket bait-box of tin, the best 
pattern being the rounded boxes that have slots 
for the belt. 

Grubs of many kinds and several natural flies form 
good bait, and so do small pieces of trout or perch, 
especially a narrow strip including the bright- belly- 
fin, from which the celebrated north woods fly, the 
Parmachenee Belle, was imitated by Mr. Wells. 
Minnows are excellent bait in large streams and lakes. 
They are kept in minnow-pails, several kinds of 
which are on the market. In capturing a supply of 

266 The Way of the Woods 

minnows, nets may be employed, or, better still, 
the Orvis minnow-trap ($3), which, baited with 
cracker-crumbs, is set in the brook in the evening 
to be taken out filled with live minnows iif the 
morning. Another trap, of wire, costs $1.50. The 
hook is passed through the back near the dorsal 
fin. The minnow dies slowly and is good so long as 
it wriggles. It is a cruel sport and I sincerely hope 
you will have none of it. 

Whatever the bait, drop it into the most likely 
spots with as little commotion as possible, being 
M th d careful to cast no shadows upon the water, 
and to show yourself as little as may be. 
In spring the fish will be found near the surface and 
no sinker is necessary, the bait swaying about in 
the ripples. Later, when the weather gets hot, deep 
fishing in the pools will be more productive. Fish 
every likely place and fish it thoroughly. As a 
general rule the bait is kept moving, even if only 
slightly. The fly-fisherman must entice the fish 
to the very surface, but a bait-fisher can seek out 
his quarry in its very lair, and for this reason, so the 
common belief runs, the very biggest old whoppers 
are more likely to fall a prey to bait. When you 
see or feel a bite let the fish have the bait for the 
fraction of a second before striking, but not too long 
or you may have to cut or tear the hook out of his 
gullet. This disgusting necessity, as well as the 
handling of dirty worms, is not necessary in fly-fishing. 

Trolling for brook-trout may be done with phan- 
toms of small size or with bright-coloured 
^ flies. It is rather unsportsmanlike and 
fortunately results generally in meagre catches. 

Fishing 267 

I feel some compunction in mentioning bait- 
fishing for brook-trout, believing as I do that fly- 
fishing is not only a far more artistic and 
enjoyable sport, but also one that can be " ^^" ^ 
indulged at any time and place that bait-fishing is 
practised, the exceptions being very few. I therefore 
say to the novice-angler, do not take up bait-fishing 
for trout, at least not at first. I am glad to place 
on record the fact that I have never met a bait- 
fisherman who, having once given fly-fishing a fair 
trial, ever returned to the coarser sport as a practice. 

Even the little meadow streamlets where the fly 
is almost never used can be fished and fished well 
with it, as I have often proved to my own satis- 
faction, midge-flies on gossamer leaders being used. 
There are, of course, pools so encompassed with 
bushes and underbrush that the manipulation of a 
fly is impossible, but many of these may still be 
fished by the employment of some legitimate ruse, 
such as floating the fly down from above. I have 
even seen a fly so floated down under underhanging 
trees on a piece of bark, and spilled into the water at 
the proper spot, to be dragged back to the resourceful 
fisherman together with a finny prize. In fly-fishing 
there is no dirty bait to handle and renew every 
minute, the trout is hooked through the nerveless 
lips with no consequent pain, the pleasure of casting 
far and delicately is ours, as well as the wonderful 
joy of seeing the whole process of the rise and the 

President Cleveland (my ideal in many ways) has 
had his fling at the affectations and the pretensions 
of the fly-fisherman, and doubtless these exist, but 
he may be assured that our joy in our art, and our 

268 The Way of the Woods 

conviction that it is in many ways superior to bait- 
fishing are founded upon no affectation whatever. 


The "Great Lake-Trout" {Cristivomer namaycush), 
called also in different parts of the north woods region 
Togue, Lunge, Siscowet, Forked-Tail, etc., is the 
largest of the charrs, growing to a weight of nearly 
ICO lbs., though the average will be about 6 or 7 lbs., 
a very large one weighing 15 to 20 lbs. It is easily 
recognised by its greyish (}ight or dark) colouring, 
the vermicular markings on its back, the forked tail, 
long head, and the toothed ridge on the roof of its 
mouth (Latin crista, crest, and vomer ^ vomer). 

It can be taken with large flies if found in the proper 
water, for example at the mouths of rivers or on 
ledges in lakes. This, however, is very seldom the 
lot of fishermen, and recourse is usually had to troll- 
ing, which in spring, when the trout comes to the sur- 
face, is done with a long cotton or braided silk line, 
a light sinker, and a spoon with a single, or two single, 
hooks. The reel should be a multiplier, and the rod 
a stout and short one. A dead minnow attached to 
a snell or wire with one or two hooks is an excellent 
lure in spring. Summer trolling is usually done with 
a sinker weighing from a quarter up to a full pound, 
according to the depth of the lake and the character 
of the bottom, a strong twisted leader, and a shiner 
impaled upon some kind of gang or spinner. Nine 
hooks in clusters of three are not uncommon, but 
are anathema in the real sportsman's eyes. The 
legitimate contrivance has a lip-hook and a single 
larger hook at the minnow's tail. The sinker is often 

Fishing 269 

suspended on a separate short line, weaker than the 
trolling-line, so that, if it gets caught on the bottom, 
it will break first. The rod should be a regular 
troUing-rod. There is little sport in deep trolling, 
as the heavy sinker and long line give even a strong 
fish little chance to display his gameness and he is 
generally exhausted before he reaches the surface. 
Still-fishing for lake-trout is a common practice, 
and is done at a baited buoy, pieces of meat and other 
feed being sunk round the buoy daily. A heavy 
sinker is used on a hand-line, with a dead minnow 
for a lure, it being kept in motion by movements 
of the hand. 


Europe possesses a real sea-trout, a species all by 
itself, the Salmo trutta, but the fish dubbed sea-trout 
on this side of the. Atlantic, the familiar ** Salter, " 
is nothing more nor less than our dear old friend the 
bropk-trout, which, more enterprising than his 
brothers, periodically descends into the ocean, prob- 
ably for the sake of better feed. Here he waxes 
exceeding big, and his pristine bright colouring becomes 
so silvered over that up till a few years ago he was 
suspected of being, like his British namesake, a 
separate species. 

The sea-trout run into the Long Island streams 
about the beginning of May, during which month 
they also appear in southern Massachusetts and in 
Nova Scotia, particularly on the southern coast of 
the latter province, where the Jordan and other 
streams abound in them. A little later they appear 
in New Brunswick, Quebec and Newfoundland, the 
Bay Chaleur in New Brunswick being famous for 

2 70 The Way of the Woods 

them, though Newfoundland offers very fine sea- 
trout fishing. 

It is the general consensus of opinion that, pound 
for pound, the sea-trout is gamier than his stay-at- 
home brother, and he grows larger. The best rod 
to use in angling for him is a strong trout fly-rod, 
say loi feet long and weighing about 6 or 7 
ounces, or even a trifle more. The leader should be 
stout. Bright-coloured flies, like the Parmachenee 
Belle, Silver-Doctor, White-and-Scarlet Ibis, Dr. 
Breck, etc. on number 4 and 6 hooks are generally 
used. Sea-trout are most readily found in pools 
situated at the head of tide-water, and the most 
favourable time is at young flood or young ebb tide. 
They lie, like salmon, at the tail of the pools. Canoe- 
fishing is usual. • 

Read Sea-Trout Fishing, by Arthur P. Silver, in 
Outing for August, 1907. 


It is a matter of the deepest regret that, on account 
of the denuding of mother earth of her stately trees 
by the inexorable demands of what we are pleased 
to call civilisation, the waters of a great number 
of our streams and lakes have already become too 
warm for our native charr, the peerless fontinalis^ 
or brook-trout. More and more, therefore, must we 
look about for a satisfactory substitute, and for- 
tunately the fish-culturists are able to supply us 
with other varieties of trout, which thrive in water 
several degrees too torrid for our native fish, and 
which are strong and gamey fish and grow to a larger 
size, though we will never admit their equality with 

Fishing 271 

our brook-trout. The most important of these are 
the Western rainbow trout (Salmo irideus) and the 
European brown trout (Salmo far id). Which of these 
two is the best colonist has not yet been decided, as 
experiments with the rainbow have as yet been too 
infrequent and sporadic to found a judgment upon. 
The brown trout, the classic fish of Great Britain 
and Germany, has been very successfully planted in 
many American streams and seems to thrive finely, 
even in streams the banks of which have been quite 
denuded of trees. The fish has been praised very 
highly by those who have angled for it here, and no 
doubt it is a good fighter. My own opinion, however, 
founded on some years' experience of both fish in 
their native waters, is that the brown trout must 
yield the palm for gameness to our own fontinalis, 
while for beauty our charr is peerless. It is not 
unlikely that the brown trout, when acclimated in 
the somewhat cooler waters of this country, becomes 
a harder fighter than in Europe. We shall be obliged 
to learn more and more about it as the axeman and 
sawyer ply their deadly trade year by year. 


The American Grayling (Thymallus tricolor), an 
offshoot of the salmon family, was probably abundant 
formerly in many parts of the continent, but is now 
found in a few regions of the middle Northwest, 
especially in the streams of Michigan. It is a hand- 
some and gamey fish which readily takes the fly, and 
is of a delicious flavour. Unlike other members of 
the salmonidcBy the grayling spawns in spring. It 
lives less in tumultuous water than in the deeper 

2 72 The Way of the Woods 

parts of the stream, and rises abruptly to the lure. 
Three quarters of a pound is a good average weight 
according to Norris. It has a slimmer body than 
the trout, a small head with prominent eyes, a forked 
tail, and, its most distinguishing mark, the large 
dorsal fin, which shimmers in the light with iri- 
descent colors. 

The Montana Grayling (Thymallus montanus) is 
found only in the tributaries of the Missouri River 
above the Great Falls. It is similar in colouring to 
the Michigan fish, but is slenderer and has larger 

Light trout-tackle may be used, with very small 
flies. Dr. Henshall recommends the following pat- 
terns, but says that a red tag should replace the 
usual tail and that the wings should be narrow and 
split: Professor, Queen-of-the-Water, Oconomowoc, 
Lord-Baltimore, Coachman, Henshall and Grizzly- 
King. Two flies of different shades should be used 
at once. The flies are allowed to sink and then 

Read J. A. Henshairs Bass, Pike, Perch, and 


There are several varieties of Pacific Ocean salmon, 
all distinct from the Atlantic species, but, as they do 
not commonly take the fly, they are of little interest 
to the north woods angler. The Atlantic salmon 
(Salmo salar), which frequents the streams of eastern 
Canada and Newfoundland, as well as north-western 
Europe, is generally acknowledged to be the king of 
game fish, both on account of his size and his fighting 

Fishing 2 73 

qualities. Unfortunately he has many powerful 
enemies, the greed of the net-fishermen at the river- 
mouths, the enterprise of the pulp and lumber dealers, 
and the failure of many local governments to prevent 
netting and to provide fish-ladders, so that the 
salmon can ascend mill-dam falls to reach their 
spawning-beds. Thus such rivers as the Hudson, 
Connecticut, and Merrimac, once good salmon streams, 
now know the grand fish no more, and even the great 
rivers of Maine are fast being abandoned by them. 
The progress of industry cannot be arrested. 

The magnificent streams which flow into the St. 
Lawrence Gulf and River produce the largest salmon 
on this side of the Atlantic — ^perhaps, if an average 
be struck, in the world; but practically every good 
stream in the province of Quebec, in which nearly 
all the best of them are situated, is rented by the 
government to private clubs or individuals, for 
annual sums ranging from a few hundreds to many 
thousands of dqllars, and the ordinary mortal who 
is not fortunate enough to receive an invitation to 
fish these choice waters, the famous Restigouche 
and its tributaries, the Cascapedia, the Moisie, York, 
St. Marguerite, etc., must repair to the free fishing 
of Newfoundland (no license fee), where salmon are 
very abundant, though smaller than in Canada. The 
La Have and Port Medway Rivers in Nova Scotia 
and the Magaree River in Cape Breton are also fair 
salmon waters and have hitherto been free, but 
private clubs have already begun to sequester some 
of the best pools. The fish run very early in Nova 
Scotia, there being little salmon fishing after the 
first days of June, though grilse may be taken. The 
Canadian license-fee for fishermen who are not 

2 74 The Way of the Woods 

British subjects is a farce in Nova Scotia and in some 
other provinces, not being enforced. 

Newfoundland is the paradise of the salmon angler 
of moderate means. Its streams are best reached 
from Sidney, N. S., or St. John's, Newf. The Reid 
Newfoundland Company of St. John's furnishes 
folders containing exact information about fishing, 
accommodations, etc. So many people fish these 
streams nowadays that it is usually easy to find some 
acquaintance who can furnish first-hand references 
and information. Labrador promises fine salmon- 
fishing, but is hard to reach (by steamer from St. 

Salmon spawn in late autunm on gravelly shallows 
in the streams where they were bom, the eggs hatch- 
ing in from 80 to 100 days, according to 
temperature. The fry (length at six weeks 
about if inches) remain in the parent stream for one, 
two, or even three years. At first they are distin- 
guished by vertical bluish bars on their sides and 
are called parr. They then lose these bars, turn 
silvery, and are called smoU. In case this happens 
early in the spring the smolt go down to the sea 
and remain there not longer than ten weeks, returning 
to their home stream as grilse, with an average increase 
in weight of from three to six pounds in this short 
time. These grilse go back to the sea the last of 
autumn and are most likely to reascend the home 
stream the next spring as ** full-fledged" salmon, with 
another considerable increase in weight. If, however, 
a smolt should remain nine or ten months in the sea 
instead of as many weeks, it will skip the grilse state 
and return the next spring as a small salmon. After 

Pishing 275 

spawning, the fish, now played-out and bedraggled 
kelts, return to the salt water in February or March. 
The above general facts, taken from C. Pennell, are 
subject to unimportant exceptions. To distinguish 
between a salmon and a grilse is difficult for a be- 
ginner. Beyond the fact* that grilse are usually 
(though not always) smaller than salmon, it may 
be said that the scales of a grilse are smaller, while 
the fins are larger and longer than those of a salmon 
of like size. The salmon's scales are less easily rubbed 
off and its tail is much less forked. 

The average grilse weighs a trifle over 3 pounds, 
though individuals may run to twice that weight. 
An adult Salmo solar may weigh anything 
from 3 to 55 pounds, with an occasional 
giant heavier still. The average in the great New 
Brunswick rivers is between 15 and 30 pounds, 46 
pounds being about the limit. In other districts 
the fish run considerably smaller, 20 pounds being 
heavy, while the average is under 15 pounds. 

Unless it be for a pair of high mackintosh waiers 
or wading-stockings, there is no essential difference 
between the dress of the salmon-fisherman «. 

and that of the camper, though on many 
of the more fashionable salmon rivers somewhat 
more elegance is often affected, even the ** boiled 
shirt'* being in evidence. Mornings and evenings 
it is apt to be cold, and one may with profit accept 
the advice of Mr. Wells, to ** clothe one's self like 
an onion, and be prepared to peel layer after layer 
as the day advances. " As salmon pools are generally 

276 The Way of the Woods 

fished from permanent camps, high waders, not to be 
recommended for wilderness journeys, may be worn. 
They should come up above the waist, or, 
better still, to the armpits. Mackintosh 
trousers with feet (but without shoes attached), and 
worn inside heavy fishing-brogues, are better than 
long boots, as they can be turned inside out and 
dried easily. ^ At least two pairs of thick woollen socks 
should be worn with them. Waders should be dried 
often or they will rot. Hang them in the sun or fill 
them with heated pebbles or grain of some kind. 
Neither waders nor leather shoes should ever be 
dried by the fire. Several firms now make very 
high waterproof leather boots, which are more com- 
fortable than mackintosh and far more durable. 

O'lskin ^ ^^^^ ^^ yachting oilskins will always be 
found a great boon, or, if waders are worn, 
an oilskin coat long enough to cover the tops. If the 
fishing is from a canoe the long rubber fishing-shirt 
is not bad. 

Don't forget fly-dope and head-net (see Personal 

Outgt), Thick gloves with the ends of the fingers 

cut off are excellent to foil the flies. They 

should be at least two sizes too large for 

ordinary wear. Mr. Wells recommends that they 

be worn with linen gauntlets provided with elastic. 


For the larger American streams the rod need 

> If rubber or mackintosh high boots are worn, the new 
kind, with hobnailed leather soles, should be chosen, as 
rubber is too tender for rocky country. 

Fishing 277 

never exceed 15 J feet in length, while for the smaller 
rivers, or waters where the salmon seldom -. . 

run over 23 pounds, 14 feet will be found 
ample. Do not be persuaded to use (unless it be 
for tournament casting) an English or Scottish 
"weaver's beam'' of 18 or 20 feet. There is no space 
here to give the arguments for and against the light 
salmon-rod, but they can be found in Mr. Wells's 
American Salmon-Fisherman, and they make out 
an unanswerable case for the light rod. Of course 
if your only object is to get out as much line as pos- 
sible, and your physical powers are equal to a very 
heavy rod, why, then get one. Mr. Enright's cast 
of 152 feet was made with a 20-foot greenheart, but 
it is significant that American casting rules make ilo 
provision for a rod over 18 feet in length, at least in 

I ^^^m^^^^^mn m ge5ipa^*a«aaap« 1 11=== 

Fig. 58.— British Salmon-Rod Handle 

Both split-bamboo and greenheart are excellent 
materials for salmon-rods, but bamboo is lighter 
and livelier in action. Expense must be no object 
when buying a salmon-rod, as the best is none too 
good. If, however, you do not care to pay $45 or 
more for an American split-bamboo rod, $25 will buy 
a good, though heavy, greenheart. If the ^ .. , 
fishing is to be for grilse only, the rod need 
not be longer than 11 feet, and a powerful trout-rod 
will do nearly as well. 

British rods are generally capped at the butt with 

278 The Way of the Woods 

flat wooden, or, better, soft rubber buttons, which 

Butt-rest ^^^ ^® more comfortably braced against 

the body than our metal caps. If the 

latter are used, or if big fish are likely to, be killed, 

j frTTT Tr ■■ "^ a leathern butt-rest, worn 

^^^T" ^ ^^^^V with a strap round the 

^ — ^r"^^ waist, should be used, as 

\(rilillP^ / ^* greatly relieves the 

^^^^^i/ muscles when playing a 

^*"^'*-«****^ heavy fish. 

FIG. 59.-Butt-Rest ^j^^ g^^^ g^j^^ ^^^ ^^^ 

tip of a salmon-rod are generally of agate. 

The reel, always single-action, . should properly 
balance the rod, should be about i| inches in the 
Reels width of the winding-barrel, and be pro- 

vided with a tension-screw (on the opposite 
side from the handle) or adjustable drag, by which 
the running can be made harder if necessary. Gen- 
erally, of course, the reel should work with the utmost 
smoothness and ease, the drag being applied only 
in the stress of battle. For large streams the capacity 
of the reel should be 120 yards. American salmon- 
reels cost from $15 to $25; Malloch's Scottish reels 
cost about $10 (bought in Canada) ; Hardy's the same. 
Each reel should have a stout leathern case. 

Salmon-lines of enamelled silk are now made in many 
varieties. A taper is usually preferred. As the line 
Lines should be at least 100 yards long and would 

cost, if entirely of silk, in the neighbourhood 
of $12.00, it is usual to splice a 60- or 40-yard salmon- 
line to 80 or 100 yards of Cuttyhunk linen line. No. 15, 
which is very strong, and which does not come into 

Fishing 279 

action except when the fish is hooked and has run 
quite far, so that it does not interfere with casting. 
The splicing should be done in a tackle-shop unless 
the angler is an expert in such matters. (See Wells's 
American Salmon-Fisherman.) On smaller streams 
60 yards will generally be found enough, without 
piecing with linen. A bodkin of bone or ivory is a 
good thing to unravel knots and tangles in the line. 
The exact size of line is impossible to give, as it must 
fit the rod, a heavy rod requiring a larger size, so as 
to bring out all its power, while a light rod cannot 
readily take much length of heavy line from the water. 

The classic length of the leader, or casting-line, 
is 9 feet, tapered, and, as it should be of single gut, 
it is absolutely necessary that it be above 
reproach in quality, for it must always 
remain the weakest part of the tackle, and a time is 
likely to come when one must ** throw finesse to the 
winds and make a direct issue between the strength 
of the fish and that of one's tackle." Therefore, unless 
you can afford to buy the best heavy gut ($10.00 to 
$12.00 per 100 strands in New York) and tie your 
own casting-lines, it is well to purchase only of the 
most reliable dealers. For medium weight, sufficient 
for Newfoundland or Nova Scotia, you will pay 
$1.50, for heavy $2.00, while very heavy single-gut 
leaders command as much as $3.00 and $3.50. Salmon- 
leaders should be tested to 10 pounds. On bright 
days unstained gut is the best; on dark days mist 
colour is said to be less conspicuous, though I rather 
doubt this. 

Why salmon rise to the fly, since they eat almost 

28o The Way of the Woods 

nothing in fresh water, is one of those things "no 
fellow can tell." Volumes have been written on the- 
. subject, which is complicated by the ex- 

traordinary vagaries of the fish, that have 
been hooked with a piece of caribou-skin, a glove- 
thumb, a mouse, a silver coin, a live butterfly, and 
many other singular baits, all attached, of course, 
to hooks. At the present time it is commonly be- 
lieved that the flies are taken for food, since it has 
been proved that salmon do eat, though most 
sparingly, in fresh water. It may be that the 
fish rise more from instinctive habit than from 
real hunger; perhaps also partly from jealousy, to 
prevent some other fish from mouthing a delicacy, 
somewhat as a dog will eat, even when already 
satisfied, so long as a rival stands ready to seize 
what remains. 

Bright-coloured flies prove most attractive to 
salmon, and nearly all the favourites on this side 
of the Atlantic are of that description. Among the 
most successful may be mentioned: Silver-Doctor, 
Jock-Scott, Durham-Ranger, Silver-Grey, Butcher, 
Black-Dose, Fiery-Brown, Black-Fairy, Dusty-Mil- 
ler, Popham, all resplendent in tinsel and bright 
feathers. Two or three sizes of 
each fly chosen should be in your 
fly-book or box. The favourite 
hook seems now to be the 
O'Shaughnessy, with Limerick or 

Fig. 6o.-Salmon.Fly ^P^^^* *°^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^- ^^^^^^ 
hooks are very much used, espe- 
cially in the smaller sizes, but the correct salmon- 
angler rather despises them as unsportsmanlike. 
Salmon-flies are provided with twisted gut loops, and 

Fishing 281 

are attached to the leader by one of the knots 
.described above under Trout-fly Tackle, 

For storing flies, as well as for the supply carried 
on the person, special moth-proof boxes and cases 
may be had of the dealers. A metal pocket box, 
holding five dozen flies, costs in the neighbourhood 
of $4.00, while the stronger and more elaborate cases 
run in price from $12.00 to $25.00. 

Though grilse and salmon up to ten pounds weight 
may be landed in the largest size linen nets, the correct 
thing is to gaff them, and in the purchase ^^ 

of the necessary instrument the beginner 
has no choice but to trust to his dealer, and this in 
spite of Mr. Wells's dictum that he had never seen 
a really good gaff in a shop. That was, however, 

Fig. 6i.— Salmon-Gafifs 

in 1887, and his strictures have probably borne 
fruit. The chief characteristics, as he gives them, 
are: hook strong and stiff; depth of point must 
exceed width of hook at widest part (measuring 
inside the curve) by J to | inch; wire not too 
thin nor clumsily thick; point long, keen, and con- 
ical; gaff, except point, neither polished nor nickel- 
plated; should be lashed to improvised handle cut 
on the bank rather than screwed to a ready-made 
handle; point side of gaff straight. When the handle 
is cut on the fishing-ground one side is flattened 
at one end and the spur of the gaff driven into it. 

282 The Way of the Woods 

the gaff then being firmly bound to the handle with 
twine. When leaving the stream the twine is cut and 
the handle thrown away. The dimensions of an 
** able-bodied*' gaff are as follows: bottom of hook 
to spur (on a straight line) i foot; width of hook 
opposite point 3 inches (or a trifle less); width of 
hook at widest point 3^ inches; depth of hook 
(straight across from point to shank) 3^1^ inches. 
All measurements are on the inside curves. Such a 
gaff will land anything, great or small. Plain gaffs 
without handles cost less than half a dollar. They 
are also made with a screw-end to fit the ** Harrimac '* 
landing-net handle. The gaffing of the fish is con- 
sidered to be an essential part of the killing of a 
salmon (one never catches a salmon!), and a plain 
gaff is therefore the only weapon which the ** purists" 
will allow in the hands of the gaffer. But nothing 
is so annoying, to use the very mildest of terms, as to 
play a big fish sucessfuUy and bring it to gaff, only 
to have it missed, and very likely lost, by an awkward 
gaffer; and for this reason many a good salmon- 
angler, who has repeatedly suffered this catastrophe, 
has taken to the automatic gaffs, when going among 
untried guides. The best of them is the Marble 
($2.00), a deadly weapon even in the hands of a 
duffer. Order one not nickeled. Though perhaps 
rather unsportsmanlike, one must remember that 
the angler has actually done his part in bringing the 
fish within reach of the gaffer, and the punishment 
certainly does **not fit the crime'' when he loses 
it through no fault of his own. The ** Marble" should 
be handled carefully, as it closes easily. 

The principles of casting are identical with those 




of manipulating trout-rods. The line is thrown back, 
though not so far as to allow the fly to 
touch the water, a pause is made while the 
line straightens out behind, and the forward cast 
completes the operation. (See Casting the Fly,) 
There is, however, one important 
difference: with the trout-rod the 
balance, or centre of motion, lies 
within the hand holding the rod, 
while with the two-handed salmon- 
rod the balance lies in the lower 
hand, which grasps the butt. One 
must consider this hand the pivot 
upon which the rod swings, hold 
it steady, as if it were merely a 
socket, and manage the rod with 
the upper hand. Above all things 
practise with each hand alternately 
held above and below, so that a 
cast over the right shoulder will 
be as easy as one over the left. 

Ambidexterity is as convenient, 

r .. , Fig. 62.— Top of Back- 

nay, as necessary for the angler r t 

as for the axeman or the canoeist. 

The underhand switch-cast, which has many 

variations and names, is made by switching the line, 

not over the angler's head, but off to one side; then, 

by a smart forward and upward movement, the fly 

is flung up and out, following the motion imparted 

by the curve of the line. Such casts are resorted to 

when some natural object interferes with a proper 

overhead cast. At the end of a cast directly into the 

wind, the tip is brought sharply down nearly to the 

water. (See Figure 63.) 


The Way of the Woods 

A salmon **pool," unlike that deep and serene 
haunt of the trout at the foot of some fall, is generally 
Fishing nothing more than a stretch of clear water 
the Pool from 3 to 10 feet deep, with a gravelly- 
bottom and a 3- or 4-mile current; in other words a 

kind of quiet rapid. It is 
fished either from the bank 
or from a canoe or boat 
anchored amidstream. If 
from the bank, the angler, 
having consulted his guide 
as to where the fish usually ' 
lie, takes his station near the 
upper end of the pool, and 
casts his fly across the 
current. The rod is held 
quietly in a nearly horizontal 
position, while the fly is 
carried down-stream in the 
segment of a circle, until 
the line is nearly at right 
Fig. 63.— Finish of Wind-Cast angles with the rod, which 

is then moved so that it 
points down-stream at an angle of about 45 de- 
grees with the bank. The fiy is carried on down 
until it passes the end of the rod a few de- 
grees, when it is retrieved for another cast, which 
may be made over the same water, or with some 
6 or 8 feet more line. The line is lengthened grad- 
ually with successive casts until the limit of the ang- 
ler's casting powers is reached or a rise rewards his 
efforts. If unrewarded he moves the length of a 
cast downstream and resumes operations. 

From a canoe the water is covered by casts towards 

Fishing 285 

each side. It will be seen that, in salmon-fishing, 
the rod is more quiescent than in angling for other 
salmonidcB, the current doing most of the From a 
work. If the line, on account of a particu- Canoe 

larly strong current, bellies badly, so that it runs 
ahead of the fly, one must cast more obliquely down- 
stream; or the line may be given a flip up-stream 
just as the fly strikes the water, by switching the tip 
of the rod in that direction. 

Should the fish rise but refuse to take the fly do not 
cast again at the exact spot, but some distance 
beyond, so that the fly shall swing round and over it. 

Displaying is the art of offering or showing the 
fly to the fish over as large a radius as possible, and 
in such a manner that line and leader are Displaying 
invisible. The fly itself is submerged, the Fly 
and many anglers do not attempt to aid the current 
in giving it a natural motion. The majority, however, 
endeavour to do this by vibrating the tip up and 
down through the space of a foot, the result being 
that the wings and hackle of the fly alternately close 
and open with the successive jerks, and, so it is 
thought, a lifelike motion is imparted. 

Salmon are much more deliberate in their move- 
ments than trout, and, while the latter will seize a fly 
and spit it out again almost in an instant, 
the salmon approaches and takes it in a ^^ 

more stately manner, and is apt to carry it down with 
him to his lair before investigating its precise char- 
acter. From this it follows that the angler must not 
strike too soon when he sees the warning boil of the 
water near his fly; in fact it will be better not to 

286 The Way of the Woods 

strike at all, and many fishermen follow this precept 
exclusively, asserting that the fish and the resistance 
of the heavy line will do the hooking quite effectually, 
and that nothing should be done until a perceptible 
jerk on the tip signals that the hook has gone home. 
Even then some do not strike when heavy fish are in 
the pool, but it is generally a good plan to do so, in 
order to imbed the hook more firmly. As a rule keep 
the hands off the line, as a sudden strike when it is 
straightened out may part the leader. 

The enthusiastic trout often misses the fly in its 
zeal, but when the water boils in a salmon-pool and 
Changing the fly remains untouched you may be 
the Fly fairly sure that there is something wrong, 
and (especially if this occurs more than once) it is 
probably the fly. If such a suspicion arises work 
the fly about a little, letting it sink and then pulling 
it in. If this has no effect reel in and change the fly 
to a smaller size of the same pattern, wait five or 
ten minutes, and try again over the same spot. If the 
exact distance is to be insured it is better not to 
reel in, but to pull the line through the rings and 
let the coils lie in the bottom of the canoe. When 
convinced that the pattern of fly is not wanted by the 
fish, change to some quite different variety. In a 
word, experiment until success is attained. In all 
cases wait a few minutes before tr3ring the same 
spot again. 

For a few moments a hooked salmon does not 
seem to appreciate his position, but this is only the 
calm before the storm, for suddenly the line begins 
to go and the reel to sing with a crescendo that rises 

Fishing 287 

to prestissimo and fortissimo agitato. This is one 
of the soul-stirring moments of the battle, and rivals 
the excitement of landing after a fifty-foot Playing 
skee-jtmip or turning a sharp comer in a the Fish 
racing-car at a mile a minute. One wonders whether 
the fish is ever going to stop, and visions of a line run 
out and snapped off the reel arise like ogres. But he 
usually does pause before such a catastrophe occurs, 
and soars majestically into the air at the end of the 
rush, generally giving the angler time to reel in a 
good deal of line before dashing off for another rush 
and leap. The battle is then on and the problem 
is to tire out the fish and bring him to gaff before he 
can break away, either by sheer strength or by 
entangling the line in some natural obstruction. 
The rule is to make haste slowly, for it has been 
calculated that no good fish can be killed safely in 
less than a minute for every pound of its weight. 
When the salmon leaps from the water the old rule 
was to drop the tip of the rod in order to reduce the 
strain on the tackle, but Mr, Wells has proved that 
this is a fallacy, since such relief cannot possibly 
be communicated to the other end of the long, heavy 
line in the very short space of time occupied by the 
fish in leaping. The . rule is, therefore, to keep a 
taut line at all times. If the fish doubles back, belly- 
ing the line, reel in as fast as possible. In a word, 
never allow slack line. If he sulks and jigs, i. e, tugs 
at the line with a succession of short, sharp jerks, 
simply wait for him to finish this disconcerting 
manoeuvre. If he threatens to run out all your 
line, which would be fatal, follow him with the canoe 
or on foot, as the case may be. There are lurid tales 
of fishermen chasing down-stream for miles after a 

288 The Way of the Woods 

runaway salmon of uncommon weight and prowess, 
but these may be somewhat exaggerated. Experi- 
ence is the best teacher, and when you have played 
twenty salmon, and lost a certain percentage of them, 
you will know more about the art than I could impart 
in twenty chapters. 

When your fish is thoroughly sick, and shows his 

sides from time to time, draw him gradually up to 

^ ^ the spot where the motionless gaffer waits. 

Gaffing ^ , -.- - . 

The salmon may come to life several tunes 

at sight of his new enemy, but at last the gaff is 

pushed deftly under the fish, and, with a quick 

upward movement, the quarry is impaled upon it, 

dragged up on the shore or into the canoe, and knocked 

on the head as soon as may be. 

H. P. Wells: The American Salmon-Fisherman; 
Books Salmon and Trout, in The American 

Sportsman's Library; Chas. Hallock: SaU 


Hornaday and others distinguish two chief varie- 
ties of salmon living in fresh water, the Ouananiche 
(pronounced Wanna-neesh') {Salmo ouananiche) and 
the Sebago Salmon {Salmo sebago) of Maine, though 
scientists are as yet by no means agreed as to the 
difference between these or between them and the 
Salmo salar, which divides its existence between salt 
and fresh water. It may be quite a matter of en- 
vironment. Both are called land-locked salmon, 
though only the Maine fish seems entitled to the 
name, as the Ouananiche has access to salt water 
and frequently does descend to it. 

Fishing 289 


Mr. Hornaday speaks of the Ouananiche as a 
** fierce-fighting fresh- water understudy of the At- 
lantic salmon. . . . When first taken from the 
water, it has a beautiful peacock-blue colour which 
disappears at death, changing to the light-grey 
back and sides and silvery belly of the Salmon. . . . 
The Ouananiche is a fish which loves rapids and 
rushing water as a mountain sheep loves crags and 
precipices. Because of the strenuous life it leads, 
it is beyond doubt the most vigorous and athletic 
fish that inhabits our waters." This dictum will be 
generally subscribed to by most fishermen. Mr. 
Eugene McCarthy, in his Familiar Fish, thus char- 
acterises the Ouananiche : 

None of the fresh- water fish can equal its fighting powers, 
and, pound for pound, it will outfight even the salmon. 
Ouananiche are great smashers of rods and tackle, unless 
one understands how to play them, especially when they 
make their numerous high jumps from the water. It is not 
an exaggeration to state that the'se jumps will average at least 
five to six, and frequently will number ten to twelve feet. 
And such leaps ! Two or three feet out of the water, often 
toward the fisherman, then a rush deep down, a pause, a 
succession of jerks that would seem to tear the hook loose, 
a wild rush of varying distance, and a run back, almost to the 
angler's feet. A fish weighing three and one-half or four 
pounds will make a fight lasting ten or fifteen minutes, 
often longer; and that means hard work for every moment 
for the fisherman. 

The chief habitat of the Ouananiche is Lake St. 
John and its tributaries, in the Province of Quebec, 
and the Saguenay River, its outlet to the Gulf of 

290 The Way of the Woods 

St. Lawrence ; but many other waters of that region 
contain it, though less known. 

The fish probably spawn partly in the lake and 
partly in the stream. They seem to be mostly in the 
lake in spring, descending into the rapid water about 
June. The spawning season is October. In the lakes 
they will almost never take the fly. Anatomically 
the fish differs in no respect from a small salmon, but 
the colouring is more brilliant. It feeds day by day 
throughout the year, and has a slimmer body and 
more powerful fins. The average weight is less than 
three pounds, though it grows to three times that. 
The expert angler of the Grande D^charge of the 
Saguenay takes him only on the fly. 

A heavy trout-rod, say of 10 J feet and 7 or 8 ounces 

will fill the bill, though some prefer a grilse-rod. 

The line will be size E, and the leader 

Til r.lclft 

six feet long and of light salmon gut of the 
best quality. The usual thing is to use two flies, 
the upper one a yard from the tail. Sizes 6 and 4 
are large enough, and the favourite varieties are 
Silver-Doctor, Jock-Scott, Popham, and in fact most 
of the best-known salmon patterns. 

In the Saguenay the fishing is generally from a 
canoe, for the proper management of which in the 
difficult water two guides (French Canadians) are 
necessary. The casting is mostly not from the canoe, 
but from different points of vantage, where the angler 
lands. The fish are found in the rapids and especially 
in the foam-covered eddies, into the midst of which 
the flies are launched. When your fly is taken strike 
smartly, after which, if the fish is hooked, "look 
out for squalls !'* He will plunge down, run up, leap 

Fishing 291 

wildly, turn and rush and jig like an electrified 
grilse; in fact he may be treated like one. Keep a 
taut line always. Ouananiche are generally netted 
like trout. 


Those who have fished for both the Ouananiche and 
the Maine land-locked salmon are generally of the 
opinion that the former is the gamier fish, for the 
reason that it inhabits more strenuous waters. There 
are, of course, places in Maine where, either in the 
streams or fresh-run into the lakes, the fish are as hard 
fighters as their Canadian cousins. They are heavier, 
weighing from a pound up to 15 pounds, the average 
in Sebago Lake being over 8 pounds. In spring it 
may be taken with the fly, like its Quebec cousin, 
but later trolling with the minnow, phantom, etc., 
must be resorted to. 

The Ouananiche and its Canadian Environntenty 
by E. T. D. Chambers; The Leaping Ouananiche 
and How to Catch It, by Eugene McCarthy; Biblio- 
The Land of the Winanishe,, in the volume graphy 
on Angling in the Out-of-Door Library (Scribner's) ; 
Fly-fishing for Ouananiche, by Louis Rhead, in 
Outing for July, 1906. It is a regrettable fact that 
many books on salmon-angling contain so little about 
the fresh- water salmon. The volume on Salmon 
and Trout in the American Sportsman's Library, for 
example, never so much as mentions the existence 
of the Ouananiche. 


There are two varieties of the black-bass, the 

292 The Way of the Woods 

small-mouthed {Micropterus dolomieu) and the large- 
mouthed (Micropterus salmoides), the two fish be- 
ing very similar in appearance, though the large- 
mouthed is not quite so slender and has the angle of 
the mouth reaching behind the eye. Its scales are 
also larger. Of the two the small-mouthed has the 
greater reputation as a game fish, though Dr. Hen- 
shall thinks this due to the fact that the small-mouth 
is oftener found in cool, clear waters than his cousin, 
and that, in the same water, there is no difference 
in their game qualities. Both fish are hard fighters, 
strong and resourceful, and will frequently leap from 
the water even on a slack line. The fact that the trout 
almost never leaps on a slack line has led bass-fisher- 
men to claim the palm of gameness for their favourite. 
This claim has hardly been substantiated, though 
one may say that the black-bass possesses a little 
more of the bulldog nature than the more beautiful 
and aristocratic trout. The usual colour of the bass 
is a fine greenish bronze, though this may be dark 
or light. 

The small-mouthed black-bass inhabits preferably 
clear and cool streams, as well as lakes and ponds 
fed by them or by springs. Hibernating 
at the bottom of lakes and streams, it 
emerges in early spring from its state of torpor and 
seeks its spawning bed in streams having sandy or 
gravelly bottoms about the month of May, the 
spawning season lasting till July, different fish 
spawning at different times, according to environ- 
ment. The male fish works out a depression in the 
soil, in which the female deposits her eggs, which are 
then covered by the male milt. It takes but two 


Fishing 293 

weeks, or even less, for the eggs to hatch, during 
which time the nest is guarded by both parent fish, 
unlike the trout, which neglects its nest after the eggs 
have been fructified. The male bass even watches 
over the hatched-out fry for several days after hatch- 
ing. The fry attain a length of about an inch in a 
month and grow to six inches by autimin. A pound 
per year is about the normal rate of increase, and 
five pounds is a very large weight for a black-bass, 
though fish of nine and ten pounds have been taken. 


The remarks upon rods for fly-fishing contained in 
the chapter on Trout Fly-tackle apply also to bass-rods, 
except that a rod under six ounces should Tackle for 
not be used, the average bass fly-rod being Fly-fishing 
an ounce or so heavier than that. It may be from 
9 to loj feet in length. Split bamboo is best. The 
butt should be rather more stiffish than in a trout-rod. 
Lines and leaders are similar to those usecf for trout, 
though the leader need not be over six feet in length, 
but must be stout. Bass-flies are usually made with 
very large, flaring wings and in brilliant colours. Dr. 
Henshall thinks most of the stock flies too large and 
recommends the ** largest trout flies, tied on hooks 
Nos. 4 to 6." Among the best patterns are the dif- 
ferent hackles, the Coachman, Montreal, Professor, 
Grizzly-King, Jungle-Cock, King-of-the-Waters, etc. 
There are also the so-called buck-tail flies. Very 
few bass-flies bear any resemblance to living insects. 
The bass is a voracious feeder, resembling in his 
habits the gamey brook-trout of northern waters, 
and he evidently takes the fly not for some particular 

294 The Way of the Woods 

insect known to him, but just for some kind of pos- 
sible food, to be captured first and rejected if un- 

Morning and evening are the most favourable 
times, unless the ^ay is overcast. Fish down-stream 
and observe the general rules laid down under frout- 
fishing. The flies (two, or sometimes three, are 
generally used at a time) are kept wriggling when 
on the surface, but are allowed to sink a foot or so 
from time to time. One must try every ruse, as the 
bass is as fickle as the trout, and the flies should be 
often changed until success attends. When a rise 
is seen or a tug felt strike like lightning, though not 
brutally, as the fish will, except in still water, prob- 
ably have hooked himself, and it is chiefly a matter 
of setting the barb well in. Keep a taut line, and 
make the fish earn every inch he pulls out. Netting 
the bass is precisely similar to the same operation 
applied to trout. 


Dr. Henshall mentions as legitimate methods^ 
aside from fly-fishing, for bass, casting with the 
live minnow, trolling, and still-fishing. He condemns 
trolling with a hand-line as unsportsmanlike, and 
also, by inference and failure even to mention them, 
all many-hooked contrivances, such as phantoms and 
minnow-gangs. It seems somewhat inconsistent, 
after taking this high and proper standpoint, that 
he should advocate the torture of a live minnow for 
the sake of sport. As the minnow is generally hooked 
through the nerveless lips, the biassed angler will 
bring forth the Qjd argument that it is not hurt. Why 

Fishing 295 

not go a step further and aver that the little fish 
hugely enjoys being jerked through air and water until 
insensibility befalls? The true sportsman has no 
place in his heart for mollycoddles, but the practice 
of such cruelty as this should disgust every right- 
minded being. Let the reader decide for himself. 

The minnow is hooked through both lips, or, when 
very small, under the dorsal fin, on a single snelled 
hook, size i to 2. A braided silk line, size Casting 
H, is best and no leader can be used, since with 

the lure must be pulled up close to the tip for Minnow 
the purpose of casting. The casting-rod, which has been * 
developed during the past few years, is from 8 to 9 feet 
long and preferably of split bamboo (best quality up 
to $30.00; Orvis casting-rod, fine quality, $15.00). 
It has the reel-seat above the hand and weighs from 
6 to 8 ounces. A still shorter variety, originating in 
the West, is from 4^ to 6 feet long. The reel must be 
a multiplier containing fifty or sixty yards of line and 
as light as possible. Very beautiful multiplying reels 
for bait-fishing have been made in this country, and 
particularly in the State of Kentucky, for more than 
half a century, and the Kentucky reels still maintain 
their reputation. The best of them (not all made in 
Kentucky) are expensive — Meek's No. 3, $28.00, No. 4, 
$30.00'; ** Talbot Special," $50.00 to $60.00 (with 
jewelled bearings); ordinary Talbot, $20.00; ** In- 
trinsic," $15.00; Milam's, $20.00; J. vom Hofe 
(60 yards) , $8.00. All these reels have click and drag. 
The Talbot is jewelled; all the others cost about $4.00 
more for jewelling. Of course all makers turn out 
cheaper reels that are of good quality, but a multi- 
plying reel should be a fine one or a very cheap one, 


The Way of the Woods 





to throw aside after a short time. The best 
American reels last for many years. They 
should be kept in special leather cases and 

?^ carefully cleaned and oiled. Very 
\ little oil should be used, and that 
of the best quality. 

Casting with the short bait-rod 
is an art which has only recently 
been developed. The regular over- 
head tournament cast for distance 
can be employed in throwing the 
minnow only very gingerly, since 
the delicate lips or skin of the 
fish would otherwise be torn out. 
11 With a frog or other tougher bait it 
I z is generally used. It is called cast- 
ing from the reel, and is a West- 
em development, like the short rod 
invented to perfect it. Two va- 
rieties, the wrist-cast and body-cast, 
are distinguished. For the wrist- 
I 1= cast the rod is held pointed at 
the spot where the lure is to alight; 
the reel (on top) is turned a little to 
the left and the thumb rests on the 
crossbar. The lure hangs about 18 
inches from the agate tip. Raise 
Fig. 64.— ^jjg whole arm slowly over the 
shoulder, bending forearm and 
wrist backwards until the rod ..^ 
points a little towards the ground. Then cast ^ 
the lure forward by a sharp, snappy jerk, re- J°^ ^^ 
membering how, in your youth, you chucked casting- 
a green apple from the end of a stick. The Rod 


Fishing 297 

body-cast is an effort to add to the strength of the 
arm, wrist, and hand that of the whole body, the 
arm being held more extendefl 
and the whole forward move- 
ment made more round-arm, 
somewhat as a cricket bowler 
delivers the ball. Added im- 

•petus is often got by a pre- f,g. 66._Casting-Reel 
liminary run. Casting with a 
longer rod is usually done more from one side 
to the other than overhead, in order to avoid 
the jerk that is likely to throw off the lure. 
Those who intend to devote themselves to bait- 
casting should secure Lou S. Darling's Tournament 

When the minnow strikes the water it is allowed 

to sink half way to the bottom and is then slowly 

reeled in. When it is seized by a bass do not strike , 

but let him have it for a few seconds even 

if he should start to run, but it takes some 

time for him to get it well into his mouth. 

When he seems to have it firmly (the 

angler can usually tell by the strong and 

steady pull, felt best by the thumb on the 

reel-spool), set the hook by a smart strike. 

The battle is then on and differs from that 

with a trout only when the bass leaps from 

the water, in which moment taut line 

Fig 6 -- ^^^^^^ especially be avoided, though it is a 

Casting- grave question whether in so very short a 

Spoon time any movement of the angler's can be 

communicated to the other end of the 

line quickly enough to have any effect, one way 

or the other. With a very long line certainly not. 


The Way of the Woods 


Casting is also done with a small troUing-spoon 
with one hook, or two single hooks. 

Trolling is done from a slowly-moving canoe or boat 
along the edges of weeds, rocky ledges, or 
wherever bass are known to lie. 
'^ ^ A minnow or single-hooked troll- 
ing-spoon may be used, all three- or more- 
hooked contrivances being considered as 
worthy only of the pot-fisherman, who wishes 
to bring in a good string, however captured. 
A short trolling-rod should be used. 

Stillr fishing from bank or boat is done 

with rod, line, leader, and dead bait, which 

may be worms, helgramites, craw- 
StiU-fishing ^ /^ ^^ • • ^ v 

fish or some other piscine delicacy. 

This should not be allowed to lie on the 

bottom, for which reason a float is usually 

employed. The most efficacious bait is a live 

minnow; let the hard-hearted use it if they 

like; the true sportsman should certainly not. 

Dr. J. A. Henshall's Book of the Black- 
Bass, More About the Black-Bass y and Bass, 
Bibliog- Pike, Perch , and Others ; The Basses, 
raphy by Harris, Bean, and Rhead; Fish- 

ing and Shooting Sketches, by ex-President 
Cleveland. ^^^- ^^'- 

Top for 

Of the EsocidcB, or pike family, those likely to be 
^countered by the dweller in the northern woods 

Fishing 299 

are the Mascalonge, the Pike, the Western and the 
Eastern Pickerels. All its members are distinguished 
by long bodies and heads, with flattened, elongated 
snouts and big mouths containing many sharp teeth, 
in the jaws and even on the tongue. They are all 
voracious, bloodthirsty pirates, which live mostly 
on other species of fish. When taken in good water all 
the EsocidcB are good eating, especially the pickerel. 


This great fish {Esox nobilior)^ the largest of the 
EsocidcBy grows to a weight of eighty or more pounds, 
but one is seldom seen nowadays that will go over 
thirty pounds, and the majority fall far short of that. 
Its habitat extends from the St. Lawrence and Great 
Lakes waters westward through northern Wisconsin 
and southward to the upper Ohio and Mississippi 
Rivers. It is also found in Chautauqua Lake in New 
York and Conneaut Lake in Pennsylvania. It has 
a dark-grey-greenish body, the shades of which differ 
with different regions, so that many varieties have 
been named, though with very doubtful authority. 
It may be distinguished readily from the pike by the 
fact that the spots of a mascalonge are always darker 
than the ground colour, whereas those of a pike are 
lighter and bean-like in form. There are many ways 
of spelling and pronouncing the English name of 
Esox nobilior, but that given here is gradually becoming 
the standard. 

It spawns in shallow water in early spring. Its 
flesh is edible, As a game fish it ranks high, though 
it relies wholly on strength, exhibiting little resource. 
The proper rod is a bass-rod of 8 or 9 ounces; a 

300 The Way of the Woods 

multiplying reel with plenty of No. E line and Nos. 
3 or 4 hooks on gimp snells and swivel to connect hook 
and line complete the outfit. A minnow, either alive 
or dead, or a frog, may be the bait, though most 
fishermen prefer a No. 4 trolling-spoon, which, how- 
ever, should have but a single hook. The boat is 
rowed slowly along the edges of the pads and weeds, 
the lure is cast and reeled in again slowly. As in 
other fishing, open water should be gained as soon 
as a fish is hooked, in order to afford it less opportunity 
to foul itself and the hook. Large mascalonge are 
usually gaffed, though many shoot them through the 
head with a .22 rifle. If gaffed the fish should be 
knocked on the head as soon as pulled into the boat, 
or sooner if an opportunity occurs. When a fish 
strikes the spoon in trolling the boatman should turn 
the boat at once, so that the angler can reel in facing 
the fish. In still water still-fishing for mascalonge 
is common, the bait being a half-pound fish, usually 
a sucker. When a strike comes give the fish tincie 
enough to swallow the bait. If you succeed in hook- 
ing a ten-pound mascalonge on heavy bass-tackle you 
are not likely to forget the ensuing battle very soon. 
Dr. Henshall speaks of taking a 40-pounder on a 
nine-ounce rod! For trolling the steel rod is not bad. 


The Pike (Esox lucius) is the only member of his 
family which inhabits the waters of Europe. With 
us he is often confounded with the pickerel, but he 
can be readily distinguished at least from the East- 
em pickerel by his light-coloured, bean-shaped spots, 
whereas the pickerel is marked as with a net of 

Fishing 301 

darker hue than the ground colour, and has a much 
lighter belly. The pike is a northern fish, being 
found in the upper Mississippi, the Great Lakes, 
and Lake Champlain and the vicinity of these waters, 
and thence northwards to Alaska. Occasionally it 
occurs further south. In some regions it is found 
together with the mascalonge. Fifteen pounds 
weight is the usual limit, though it has been caught 
as heavy as twenty-five pounds, and four feet long. 
The pike is fished for with the same tackle, though 
it may be somewhat lighter, as the mascalonge and in 
much the same manner. The **HenshaU" rod (made 
by Orvis, Manchester, Vt.) is as good for pike as for 
bass, and with it should go braided silk line, size F, 
and No. 2 or 3 hooks. Trolling is the usual method, 
but casting the dead minnow or spoon with a rod 
is much finer. It is not generally known that both 
pike and pickerel will afford good fly-fishing, large- 
sized, bright flies being used. 


In England the pickerel is a small-sized pike, but 
with us quite a different fish. There are three varieties, 
the Eastern, or reticulated {Esox reticulatus), the 
Western {Esox vermiculatus) and the Banded {Esox 
americanus) . 

Of these the Western variety, found west of the 
AUeghanies, and the Banded, found only east of those 
mountains, never grow to a greater length than one 
foot. The Eastern pickerel attains a length of two 
feet and a weight of eight pounds, though the average 
will hardly be more than two pounds, or even less. 
It is recognised by its net-like markings. It spawns 

302 The Way of the Woods 

in spring. When caught in cool, clear water its flesh 
is delicious, especialh'' in cold weather. The most 
satisfactory way to fish for it is with a light bass- 
rod and tackle, with Nos. i and 2 hooks on gimp 
snells. The old-fashioned long cane rod, bought in 
the countr}'' store, will do on occasion, especially 
in very weedy water, where playing the fish is out of 
the question. The bait may be a small spoon, a piece 
of pork, the throat of a perch, or the hind-legs of a 
frog, skinned. This is "skittered " along or under the 
surface until seized by the pickerel, when a pause is 
made to enable the fish to swallow it. Still-fishing 
with a minnow or frog is another method, though not 
so interesting. Trolling is also practised, and, finally, 
the pickerel will often take a sunken fly when the 
water is not deep, especially the Ibis, Montreal, and 
other high-coloured ones. Fishing through the ice 
with '*tip-ups" is interesting, but hardly to be 
classed as scientific angling. The tip-ups can now 
be had of dealers very cheaply, so that it hardly pays 
to manufacture them at home. Minnows are used 
as bait, and unfortunately they are most attractive 
when alive. 

Bass J Pike, Perch, and Others, by James A Henshall ; 
Pike and Perch, by Wm. Senior; Bait Angling for 
Biblio- Common Fishes, by Louis Rhead; Fishing 
graphy and Shooting Sketches, by ex-President 



The huntsman of the north woods is concerned 
primarily with the rifle, and in a much less degree 
with the shotgun. The reason for this is because 
grouse, quail, wild-fowl, and other varieties of game 
hunted with the shotgun are more numerous and 
more easily bagged in open districts nearer to civili- 
sation than in the thick jungles of the northern 
wilderness, where working with dogs is far more 
difficult and in many districts impossible. 


The instant a cartridge is exploded in the barrel 
of a rifle three forces begin to act upon the bullet, one 
positive, the propellent expansion of the Theory of 
gases, and two negative, gravitation and Shooting 
the resistance of the air. (To be accurate, gravita- 
tion begins to act only when the bullet leaves the 
barrel.) In consequence the bullet, if the rifle is 
held level, begins to drop from the instant it leaves 
the barrel and, according to the law of gravitation, 
falls constantly in an ever-increasing ratio. The 
falling of the bullet is increased by the resistance of 
the air, this resistance varying with the size and shape 
of the projectile. It follows that there is no such 
thing as a rifle "shooting level*' for even a yard, 
contrary to the belief of the average woodsman. 


304 The Way of the Woods 

But the modern high-power rifle has such a flat 
trajectory that the fall of the bullet may almost be 
ignored at 200 yards, within which distance nine 
tenths of all big game are shot in the north woods. 
By trajectory is meant the curve described by the 
bullet from the moment it leaves the barrel until 
it strikes an object on the same level with the rifle. 
The flattest trajectory is the curve which is nearest 
to a straight line. Flatness depends upon the force 
with which the projectile is propelled. Thus if the 
pitcher tosses the ball gently to first base the curve 
of the ball through the air will be much greater than 
if he threw it with all his might. Flatness of 
trajectory is also aided by shaping the bullet so that 
it offers least resistance to the air, for which reason 
modern rifle bullets are made long and pointed. 
Air-resistance is the same, whether the air is pro- 
pelled against an object in the form of wind, or whether 
the object is impelled against the air. When one 
considers the tremendous force of the wind its 
deterrent effect on a bullet can be readily understood, 
as well as that the result is, that the bullet flies 
slower and slower. To the resistance of the wind are 
due all irregularities in the flight of the projectile, 
which, if fired in a vacuum, would be perfectly steady, 
acted upon only by gravitation. The same would 
be the case in the air, provided, first, that the air 
were perfectly still, and, secondly, that the bullet 
were absolutely symmetrical. As this last is never 
quite the case, even with the most carefully made 
ammunition, there results a certain amount of 
** drift,'* or swerve of the projectile from its course. 
The cause of this is the placing of the centre of grav- 
ity of the bullet not quite in the centre of its form, 

sporting Firearms 305 

so that the resistance of the air on one side is slightly 
greater than on the other, causing the bullet to swerve 
up or down, or to the right or left, as the case may- 
be. A familiar example of the swerve of a round object 
by twisting and thus rendering the air's resistance 
unequal is the ** curve pitching" of the American 
baseball player ; and, though an elongated projectile 
is less prone to swerve than a spherical one, the 
former is nevertheless by no means immune, though 
the tendency need not worry the north woods hunter, 
who does not commonly shoot his game at very long 
distances. Another influence on the flight of the 
bullet is a cross wind, which, if very strong, must be 
allowed for, but this again bothers the hunter far 
less than the military marksman. 

In the days of spherical bullets imperfect fit of the 
bullet in the barrel often led to unequal friction and 
** gas-cutting'* and hence irregular flight. To obviate 
this the inside of a rifle barrel is provided with spiral 
grooves into which the bullet fits, imparting to it a 
rotary motion, and always in the same direction, 
**on an axis parallel to the axis of the barrel and 
tangential to the trajectory." 

Elongated projectiles are subject to spiral drift, 
the result of badly placed centre of gravity or too 
slow rotation, long bullets requiring more rotation than 
shorter ones. "Key-holing," or bullets striking an 
object flat side on, is one of the consequences of this, 
the twist of the grooves being in this case insufficient. 
Every manufacturer finds out for himself the twist 
best adapted to a particular projectile. The rifle 
grooves, which are from ytuif *o tAtt of an inch 
deep, are made in several forms, all of which seem 
to be satisfactory. 

3o6 The Way of the Woods 

When a cartridge explodes in the chamber a 
powerful expanding gas is generated which exerts 
J. .. its force in every direction. The bullet, 

being lightly seated in the cartridge, feels 
and yields to this force first, and the other parts im- 
mediately afterwards as a reaction, which occasions 
the recoil or **kick.*' This recoil is strong in pro- 
portion to the powder charge and the weight of 
the rifle. The lighter the gun, the harder the 
kick, which is not only exerted in a backward but 
- also in an upward direction, causing 'the 

muzzle to jump, with the result that one 
is apt to shoot high, especially with a short barrel, 
as in a revolver. A very thin barrel will **flip " or be 
pj. depressed, shooting low. The barrel, in 

fact, actually bends slightly. It follows 
from all this that the most accurate rifles, and 
those recoiling least, are generally the heavier 
ones, the most accurate of all, the so-called 
**schuetzen" rifles, being too heavy for use in the 
field. Recoil is neutralised to some extent by a 
rubber recoil-pad on the butt, and by holding the 
rifle neither too tightly nor too loosely, so that the 
shoulder shall move elastically. 

The modern maker seeks to turn out an arm that 
will shoot a powerful charge with great velocity and 
The Modern ^ ^^^ trajectory, the mechanism of which 
Sorting shall be safe and simple. All the first- 
^^^ class American manufacturers, like the 

Winchesters, Savage, Stevens, Remington, Marlin, 
etc., turn out perfect work, rifles that shoot with 
great accuracy and power. It only remains for 
the hunter to choose among the various calibres 

sporting Firearms 307 

and styles the weapon most suited to the task 
in hand. 

The choice must be made of a variety of features, 
as between a large and small calibre, repeater and 
single-shot, pump-action and bolt, open and peep 
sights, one-piece and "take-down," heavy and light, 
shotgun and rifle butt, etc. 

The first question to be decided is that of calibre, 
or the size of the bullet in diameter, since the other 
dimensions are fixed by the ammunition- Calihre 
makers and the novice need not bother 
himself about them, except as affecting the weight of 
the bullet. This brings us to the question of cart- 
ridges in general, which are named for the calibre, 
the weight of the powder charge, and the weight of 
the bullet. Thus the ,45-70-405 cartridge is one that 
is 45/100 of an inch in diameter, is loaded with 70 
grains of black powder, and has a bullet weighing 
405 grains. But one important explanation must 
be made: since the perfection of smokeless powder 
the sportsman should use no other, and the above 
cartridge is nearly always charged, not with black, 
but the equivalent of 70 grains or more of black 
powder in smokeless. As the makers always desig- 
nate their cartridges as if charged with black powder, 
it is impossible to tell how much nitro (smokeless) 
powder is used in a given cartridge. The novice 
need not bother about that if he buys only ammuni- 
tion made by the best firms. Later, in case he becomes 
bitten with the idea that he can build a cartridge 
of his own that will outshoot all others, he can send 
for a set of loading tools from the Ideal Manufactur- 
ing Company (of New Haven), buy his powder and 

3o8 The Way of the Woods 

lead extra, and go ahead. If he is exceptionally 
clever at such things he will be amused, perhaps 
successful; if not he may blow a finger or two off. 
The modern expanding, smokeless-powder sporting 
cartridge has a cupro-nickel "mantle" round the 
bullet except the soft lead end, or nose, which is 
left exposed. Smokeless powder of the slow-burning 
kind is used, and this is of two varieties, high and 
low power, the former being designed for modern 
nickel-steel barrels, the latter for soft steel rifles. 
Smokeless powder must be confined in order to 
explode, but must not be packed closely for fear 
of bursting the gun. Shake a smokeless cartridge and 
you will hear the powder shift inside. High-power 
cartridges are often used with old-style rifles, but 
the dealers do not recommend this, and the bullets 
for these cartridges are generally somewhat lighter 
than the low-power, for which reason the low-power 
loads are perhaps better for big game hunting at short 

A rifle should be chosen either for big game or for 
small, the latter class including such animals as birds 
and foxes, 'coons, woodchucks, turkeys, grouse, 
etc. For these last the little .22-calibre rifles are 
quite sufficient, unless the range is to be commonly 
over 150 yards, in which case a .25-calibre Stevens 
may be preferred. Those who like a medium calibre, 
like the .30 or .303, for big game, may use this with a 
so-called miniature cartridge, having a reduced load 
Small Game ^^^ ^ steel-patched (non-mushrooming) 
Rifles bullet. I may say, in regard to the .22 

calibre, that I have seen foxes killed instantly with a 
single ,22-long bullet and large dogs with one .22- 

sporting Firearms 309 

I long-rifle. The accuracy of the .2 2 -long-rifle cart- 

- ridge (using smokeless powder) is wonderful, and 

J most of the rifles of this calibre on the market are 

jj very good. It is enough to say in their praise that 

^ when the great sporting weekly, the London Field, 

wishes to test a new .22-calibre cartridge, a Stevens 
rifle is chosen for the purpose, rather than one of 
British make. Among the small rifles that I have 
personally used the most satisfactory were the 
Stevens No. 80 repeater and the Winchester repeater 
of 1890, both of .22 calibre. The latter has the 
advantage of simple and durable construction (I 
have one that has shot well for five years and is yet 
good), but is chambered for only one length of 
bullet, while the Stevens uses all three of the standard 
lengths at will by the adjusting of a lever. For game 
the two longer lengths mentioned above should be 
chosen rather than the ,22-short. Black powder is 
particularly filthy in small calibres, and should never 
be used. The Winchester and Stevens single-shot 
.22 rifles are very excellent, but for game a repeater 
is preferable. A "sporting" rear sight is best if the 
.22-long-rifle cartridge is used. Peep-sights are good 
in a good light, but hard to use at dusk. 

In choosing a rifle for game larger than a fox we 
are confronted with many important considerations, 
the chief of which is the question: large Big Game 
or small calibre — under the latter head Rifles 

coming all rifles having a smaller calibre than .35. 
Under the headings Moose-Hunting and Deer-Hunt- 
ing I have indicated my own preferences, which are 
for large calibres, though deer may be safely hunted 
with a smaller calibre than moose or grizzly bear. 

3IO The Way of the Woods 

To put it shortly, the advocates of the small calibre 
for even the biggest game claim that this kind of 
rifles shoot flatter and with greater velocity, that on 
this account their penetration is greater, and that, 
with the soft-nose, expanding bullet (or some patent 
like the "Hoxie*'), fully as terrible a wound is made. 
In answer it may be said that there are large-calibre 
rifles (for example the Winchester .35 and .405) 
which have a very flat trajectory; that this is also 
true of velocity, and that a relatively small bullet 
with soft nose, driven at a very high velocity, is all 
too apt to be shattered before it can penetrate far 
enough. Several instances of this kind have occurred 
under my own eyes while hunting moose. But the 
greatest objection to a bullet lighter than 250 grains 
weight is that its shocking power is too slight. What 
is wanted is not only a bullet that will kill if placed 
in a vital spot (any bullet will do that), but one that 
will knock down and disable even when placed in a 
part of the animal that is not vital. In the latter case, 
with a small calibre, the animal, especially a moose, 
will be very apt to escape, while, with a big calibre, 
the animal will be stopped wholly, or at least stunned 
long enough to get in another shot or two. Too many 
moose have been hit with .30 rifles and escaped, 
perhaps to die miserably later, for most of us to 
advocate a light bullet. Both penetration and weight 
of bullet are necessary. For sheep, goats, and animals 
of that size the Savage .303 and the Springfield (1903) 
and .30 Winchester are about right. 

Modem rifle barrels are made of nickel-steel and 
especially thick at the breech, where nitro powder 
exerts the greatest pressure. On this account barrels 

sporting Firearms 311 

are usually made tapered towards the muzzle, which 
saves weight but gives a somewhat less stable balance 
than, say, the '94 Winchester model. The Barrels 
front sight, too, must be much higher and 
therefore more liable to injury. The latest barrels are 
all short. Round barrels are to be preferred to 

Ten pounds was not much for the average old- 
fashioned rifle to weigh, but to-day SJ pounds is 
heavy enough for the largest calibre, Weieht 
and even that is a big load to carry far 
when still-hunting in a rough country. To obviate 
this the makers have put on the market the so-called 
light-weight rifles. The '86 Winchester .45-. 70, for 
example, weighs, with 26-inch octagon barrel, 8f 
pounds, while the new ** extra light-weight," with 
22-inch round nickel-steel barrel, weighs but 7i 
pounds. The regular Savage .303, with 26-inch 
octagon barrel, weighs 8 pounds, while the ** feather- 
weight*' of the same calibre, with 20-inch round 
nickel-steel barrel, weighs but 6 pounds. Of course 
this saving of weight has its disadvantages, such as 
increased recoil and "flip." Carbines are old-style 
rifles with cut-down barrels. 

It is seldom one sees nowadays a single-shot rifle 
in the hands of a big game hunter, for, although 
that kind is said to balance and shoot j. . 
better, the advantage of having several 
extra shots at instantaneous command is too great 
to forego. The question of the number of shots at 
command is not so vital. The older models have nine 
or more in the magazine. The model '95 Winchester 

3 1 2 The Way of the Woods 

holds only four, which, with a cartridge in the barrel, 
gives the hunter five shots, all he should reasonably 
desire. The Savage .303 holds five in the magazine. 
The older models are generally made with full or 
half magazines, the latter carrying fewer cartridges 
and being a trifle lighter. One objection to the older 
Winchester and the Marlin magazines, which are in 
the form of tubes running under the barrel, is that 
with every withdrawal of a cartridge the balance 
is changed ; this might be serious for target-shooting, 
but for game it is not, though the new systems of 
the Winchester (1895) and the Savage, the **box" 
magazines, do give a practically unvarying balance. 
Both the tube and box magazines are operated on 
the ''pump*' or lever system, which is unfortunately 
very noisy, the box-magazine being the better -in 
this respect. The *'bolt" action system of feeding 
the barrel from the magazine is characteristic of 
foreign rifles, a few of which, notably the Mauser and 
Mannlicher, are used in this country. They are far 
more expensive than American rifles, and do not seem 
to me to possess sufficient compensating advantages. 
Automatic repeating rifles, which fire a number 
of shots with no other trouble on the part of the 
hunter than pressing the trigger each time, have 
now been placed on the market by several good firms, 
the most noted being the Winchester and the Reming- 
ton .35 caliber. I share with most old hunters a 
prejudice against these murderous weapons, though 
it must be admitted that the abuse of them lies 
for the most part with the user rather than with the 
rifle itself, and one may as well give way with good 
grace before the inevitable advance of mechanical 

sporting Firearms 313 

It is curious that nearly every writer on sporting 
rifles has a deal of fault to find with his sights, and upon 
no subject is there more disagreement 
than this. Generally speaking there are *^ 

two kinds of sights, open and **peep.*' The latter 
have the great drawback that they are hard to use 
in a poor light, besides being harder to align quickly, 
though for target-shooting they are undoubtedly 
best. Many good riflemen use them in the field, but 
most probably prefer open sights. The best opeiv 
front sight is furnished with an ivory bead. This 
can be blackened in some temporary way (smoking 
with match) when shooting over snow. Of rear open 
sights there are many. I prefer the old "buckhom,** 
though many object that it obscures part of the 
vision. In any case never choose a complicated 
sight, that takes time and care to adjust, for sporting 
purposes. Simplicity is the chief and cardinal virtue 
here. Those who prefer peep sights should secure the 
catalogues of the Lyman, Marble, and Savage compan- 
ies, especially the first-named. In case a Winchester 
189 s model rifle is used, the Marble flexible peep 
sight is the best. 

The front sight is very liable to injury, especially 
if it has an ivory bead, and should never be leaned 
against rocks or laid down on them. It seems odd 
that no front-sight protector for sporting rifles has ever 
been placed on the market. 

In regard to rifle telescopes, adjusted above the 
barrel, it is possible that a hunter in the Rocky Moun- 
tains, where very long shots are sometimes necessary, 
would find them desirable, but the north woods sports- 
man will not. The danger is that one will become 
so used to them that good shooting without them 

3 1 4 The Way of the Woods 

is impossible. Personally I would not use one for 
deer or moose for "a farm down East." At present 
the best telescopes are turned out by the Stevens 
Arms and Tool Company. The Brayton telescope 
sights are well thought of by some. 

The stock, and in fact the whole rifle, should be 
as simple as can be bought, and totally without sun- 
Stock and reflecting metal-work. Such parts should 
Butt be blued or browned. Butts are made 

half-moonshaped, the regular rifle-butt, or with the 
slightly concave shotgun-butt. The latter is pre- 
ferable for hunting, though it is a matter of taste. 

A. sling for the rifle is an excellent thing when still- 
hunting, but the metal hooks should be bound with 
Gun-sling l^^^^er or yarn, so that they will not 

It goes without sajring that one should spare no 
pains to become familiar with the shooting powers 

Adiustine ^^ ^ ^^^ ^^^' P^^^^ce, and lots of it, 
is necessary at all ranges and at all ele- 
vations. The first thing to learn is not to flinch when 
pulling the trigger, a difficult task for many, but 
absolutely essential. A high-power rifle has consider- 
able recoil, but the kick will not hurt you in .the 
slightest, especially if you use a shotgun-butt covered 
with a rubber recoil-pad, and, if you are very nervous, 
supplied with a Rowley cheek-pad. Most hunters 
set their sights by experiment so that, by drawing 
a moderately fine bead, the rifle will shoot as held 
at 75 or 8o yards. Thus adjusted you are not likely 
to overshoot seriously any big game at a closer dis- 


sporting Firearms 315 

tance. Mr. Kephart (Guns, Ammunition, and Tackle) 
recommends a second adjustment, to be found easily, 
even in the dusk, by a filed notch, sighting the rifle 
for 180 yards, which will cover all usual distances 
up to 200 yards. The important point is to know 
one's arm intimately, Choose your cartridge and 
stick to it, for cartridges vary, even of the same di- 
mensions and supposed power. In this connection it 
may be said that the cartridge usually has more to 
do with good shooting than the rifle. Having adjusted 
the rifle to the game to be shot (the above suggestion 
referring only to deer and moose), proceed to prac- 
tise hard. Learn to catch the sights quickly, to shoot 
up and down hill, oflF hand, kneeling and lying down ; 
also at objects in the water, big rocks in the field, 
and a barrel rolling down hill (for deer). 

The first cardinal rule is never to allow a rifle to 
stand over night without cleaning. The novice is apt 
to have too much confidence in the cleanli- Care of 
ness of smokeless powders, some of which Rifles 
are quite the reverse of this, though the lack of 
smoke masks their true qualities. Such powders 
leave a residue in the barrel, that, although not so 
apparent as that from black powder, is yet more 
obstinate. There are good nitro-cleaners on the 
market, among them those made by F. A. Hoppe 
of Philadelphia, which have been praised by experts. 
"No. 9 Nitro- Powder Solvent'* is a proper cleaner, 
as well as that made by the Marble Axe Company. 
It must be remembered that because a barrel shines 
inside it is not necessarily quite clean. It is sufficient 
to clean the rifle after each use with some such oil 
as **3 in One," and with the solvent when left a day 

3 16 The Way of the Woods 

or two without use, and especially before putting 
away. At the end of the season swab it out with 
mercurial ointment. I have found the Marble 
jointed brass cleaning-rods very satisfactory. The 
soft brass is apt to peel, but this does not injure the 
rifling if the dust is removed from the barrel. They 
are strong and follow the rifling better than one- 
pieced rods. If any rust appears in the barrel use the 
brush with rags afterwards. Only the thinnest of oil 
(as **3 in One" or Savage) should ever be put on a 
gun lock, and then very sparingly. Plug both ends 
of the barrel before putting away for the season, 
or use the Marble barrel ** ropes.'* The Winchester 
people make a very convenient little mirror for non- 
take-down rifles, by means of which the inside of the 
barrel can be easily inspected. ($ .50) Gun-grease 
may be used for barrels, though they should be well 
swabbed after using it, except when left for a long 
time. The best rust-preventive is eternal vigi- 
lance and frequent cleaning, even out of season, as 
rifles often ** sweat*' in their cases. 

Guns, Ammunition, and Tackle, in the American 
Sportsman's Library (Macmillan) contains much 
Biblio- information, both of a practical and theo- 
graphy retical nature, Mr. Kephart's chapter on 
the sporting rifle being especially valuable. Modern 
Rifle Shooting, by Dr. W. G. Hudson, treats more of 
military shooting. Walter Winans's Practical Rifle 
Shooting is excellent, but deals mostly with British 
conditions and game. 


The proper shotgun for the north woods is one of 

sporting Firearms 317 

medium weight (say 7 pounds), 12-bore, hammerless 
ejector, 28-inch barrels, and, as most of the. shooting 
will be done in cover, moderately bent. ^- . 

No rule can be given in regard to quality, 
except to go to a reputable dealer and pay as much 
as you can afford. A cheap shotgun is a miserable 
thing indeed, and dangerous to boot. If you cannot 
spend over $25.00, then get a Stevens, which at all 
events is safe, and quite wonderful for the price. 
One must pay three times that sum for anything 
recognised by the experts as good, while really fine 
shotguns cost from $200 upwards, their barrels and 
locks being marvels. 

Of course if duck-shooting is to be engaged in 
mostly a heavy lo-bore gun may be preferred, though 
i2-bores can kill ducks nearly as well. There is 
really less for the novice to do in the choosing of a 
gun than a rifle, and he must trust his dealer more. 
All that is necessary is to select one that fits the 
shoulder and seems handy. It should be furnished with 
a rubber recoil-pad, as one sometimes uses big charges 
in the woods, ducks and even geese being possible 

The first thing to learn is not to shoot either your- 
self or your companion. Remember that shotguns, 
even more than rifles, have a way of going ^ . 
off, sometimes with only a jar, and the one 
safe rule is to be sure that the gun is absolutely 
never pointed towards anyone. Then, if it is dis- 
charged, nobody will be hurt. Particular care 
should be taken when getting over fences; at 
such times it is better to remove the shells. Never 
allow the hammers to rest on the plungers, but 

3 1 8 The Way of the Woods 

carry the gun at half-cock, or with the safety 
catch on. 

When walking with the gun over the shoulder carry 
the trigger guard up, so that the jtnuzzle will not 
point level or down. 

As all good sportsmen (unless very hungry indeed) 
are expected to bring their birds down on the wing, 
. it is evident that the novice should devote 

as much time to practice as he can afford. 
To join a gun club and shoot at clay pigeons would 
be obviously the best thing to do, for, though a target 
shot is by no means always a good shot at game, 
there are rudiments of the sport that cannot better 
be mastered in any other manner. Improvement 
must be left to experience and knowledge of the 
habits of the quarry in the field itself. In regard to 
certain essentials you might better be coached. Most 
good wing shots will assure you that they keep both 
eyes open when shooting. The head is kept well up. 
The right hand takes a firm grip of the stock, to 
prevent flinching and help guide the gun. The left 
hand is extended naturally. The heel of the stock 
must rest against the same place on the shotdder 
every shot. This is very important, sinx^e one has no 
time to squint along the barrel. How far ahead, above 
or below a flying bird one should hold depends of 
course upon the kind of bird and the rate at which 
it is travelling. Judgment of such points also belongs 
in the realm of experience. 

The single-barrel repeating "pump** shotguns, 
represented by the Winchester 1897 take-down model 
($21.60), have been taken up to a great extent 

sporting Firearms 319 

lately, it being claimed for them that sighting over 
the single barrel is easier than down the rib be- 
tween two. They are certainly hard shoot- "Pump" 
ers, though rather heavy. The magazine Guns 

contains six shells. In regard to the sporting morality 
of repeating shotguns it may be said that the sen- 
timent of most hunters has been against them, but 
that they are gaining ground even in this direction. 
My own conviction is that the game-hog is not made 
by his weapon, but is bom. The repeater is not like 
the automatic reel, for you may use the former as 
your feelings prompt you, while the reel can only 
be used in an unsportsmanlike manner, i. e. it does 
not give the fish a fair chance. It follows that the 
reel is to be condemned, while the **pump ** gun is not 
essentially unsportsmanlike. 


The revolver is an arm hardly ever used in the 
north woods, however convenient it may be on the 
plains. The only occasion when I care to carry one 
is trapping bears and other large game, when a 
rifle might be considered in the way if one is burdened 
with duffle and perhaps a number of steel traps. A 
splendid weapon is the Smith & Wesson .38 calibre 
revolver, using the ** Special" cartridge; better still 
for big game is the Smith & Wesson .45 calibre. The 
fame of the Colt revolvers also is of course wide- 
spread. The Marble Company makes a very conven- 
ient revolver cleaning-rod. 

In regard to pistols my readers are referred to the 
chapter on Personal Outfit: (3) Sporting Articles, 

320 The Way of the Woods 

It only remains to mention the automatic pistols, 
of which the Colt ($22.00 in .45 calibre, $21.00 in .38) 
appears to be the best. All the automatics are some- 
what complicated. I remember a whole camp upset 
for a week trying to put in order an automatic pistol. 
It is certainly not a north woods weapon. 

Guns, Ammunition, and Tackle, in the American 
Sportsman*s Library, is a competent and thorough 
Biblio- authority on revolvers and pistols. W. 
graphy Winans's Hints on Revolver Shooting is 
the special authority. More elaborate is his Art of 
Revolver Shooting. 



The Moose {Alces americanus), or American Elk, 
greatest of the deer family, is perhaps the grandest 
prize that can fall to the prowess of the hunter in 
North America. It grows largest in Alaska, where it 
attains such a size (over 7 feet high at the withers) 
that some naturalists are inclined to regard it as a 
separate species. The largest known Alaskan antlers 
(in the Field Colxmibian Museum, Chicago) have a 
widest spread of 78^ inches, and probably measured 
more than that at death. The Alaskan moose is a 
black, brown, and grey monster, while the moose of 
the United States and Canada is black with grey 
legs and a brownish-black head. Only the tips of the 
body-hairs are black, the rest of the hair being whitish. 
The average bull stands 6 feet high at the shoulders 
and weighs from 700 to 1,000 pounds; the cow hardly 
less. The antlers of the adult male consist of a 
backward sweeping palmation with a separate set 
of prongs over each brow. These two parts of the 
antlers are called by woodsmen the palms or pads 
and the "hookers." The record head for moose shot 
south of Alaska measures 67 inches from tip to tip, 
and came from New Brunswick. It has ten points 
on one palm and thirteen on the other, and weighs, 
including a portion of the skull, 67 pounds. These 
enormous antlers impede the progress of the bull 
21 321 

322 The Way of the Woods 

through the thick woods in which he lives, but much 
less than one would think. By means of laying them 
back on his shoulders he manages to penetrate the 
thickest jungle at a "slashing trot/* as President 
Roosevelt aptly puts it, being greatly assisted by his 
abnormally long and powerful legs, which enable him 
to stride over windfalls that would stop any other 
deer. A spread of over 60 inches would be considered 
anywhere but in Alaska to be very large for moose- 
antlers, and the hunter need not be disappointed if 
his set does not fall below 45 inches, provided it is 
symmetrical, a point as important as size. A young 
bull moose one and one halfyears old is a "spike-bull,** 
from the appearance of his antlers. Palmation begins 
with the third year, but the fully developed antlers, 
separated into pads and hookers, hardly appear 
before the bull's fourth autumn. A moose grows his 
finest antlers between his sixth and his tenth year, 
but, as with the wapiti, it is almost impossible to 
tell the age of a moose by the horns. The palms grow 
broader with age and the points shorter, until they 
become mere scallops ; the horns also become crabbed 
and ugly in old age. After spending the latter part 
of the winter totally denuded of his antlers, the 
moose *s new ones begin to sprout in early spring and 
grow steadily until August, when they attain their 
full size for that year. The "velvet** in which they 
have been enveloped now begins to loosen and crack, 
and the bull endeavours to assist nature by rubbing 
it off against trees and shrubs, the horn being re- 
vealed a rich J)rown except at the points, which are 
whitish and polished. From this time on through the 
rutting season, which lasts from about the first week 
in September until the last of October, the bull keeps 


Moose- Hunting 323 

his antlers in fighting order by slashing to pieces 
shrubs and young trees, a habit called by woodsmen 
** hooking/' and which is possibly also a challenge to 
other bulls. The antlers are dropped in mid- winter. 

A peculiarity of the moose is the bell, an elongated 
dewlap of skin falling from the throat of the bull for 
some eight to fourteen inches, in some instances 
even lower. Cow moose also have bells, but in most 
cases undeveloped and therefore unseen. The bell 
slightly decreases in length after the antlers are 
dropped in winter. It is longest in young bulls. 

After losing its antlers the bull, like the cow, defends 
itself with its fore feet, extremely lormidable weapons. 
Wolves and bears (sometimes cougars) are prone to 
attack calves and even cows, but unless the snow 
is deep, impeding the movements of their intended 
victims, they are usually beaten off, though many in- 
stances are on record of calves and even cows being 
killed. In Nova Scotia it is a common thing for 
bears to answer the call of the cow moose, hoping to 
make a breakfast of the yearling, or perhaps the 
mother as well. In the autumn of 1906 a man with 
whom I am acquainted shot two bears that came 
(on different occasions) to his moose-call. 

In May the cow gives her yearling calf the slip 
aiyi betakes herself to some swamp or other secluded 
spot (often an island, where she is safer from her 
enemies), where towards the end of the month she 
gives birth to one calf if it is her first, otherwise 
generally to two, awkward reddish-brown, long- 
legged little beasts, that remain with their mother 
until the next spring. In spite of their apparent 
awkwardness they can run and even swim strongly 
before they are a week old, as I can testify from 

324 The Way of the Woods 

repeated personal experience in catching them. 
(Compare the picture The Madonna of the Moose.) 

During the hot season moose frequent the swampy 
grounds about lakes and streams, spending much of 
their time in the water itself, in order to avoid the 
insects that torture them and to feed upon the leaves, 
stems and roots of aquatic plants. They generally 
remain in low country until the mating season is over, 
when they repair to the ridges for the winter.^ Here, 
when the snow comes, the bull and cow, with one or 
more tolerated calves of that spring, and perhaps 
even another moose family, form a **yard'*; in other 
words they make a stay of longer or shorter duration 
in some one district where feed is abundant, the snow 
being gradually trampled down by the constant 
walking of the great beasts about the yard, which 
may be few or many acres in extent. 

At the end of winter cows and bulls, which, so far 
as we know, mate but for a single season, separate 
and are seen no more together. Monogamy is the 
rule, but bulls have been known to desert one cow 
for another. 

Moose feed chiefly upon browse, twigs and leaves of 
several varieties of hard wood, their favourite being 
the moose- wood (striped maple), as well as shrubs, 
sweet-fern, and, to a very limited extent, even gra^. 
They gnaw off the bark of trees and strip the tender 
leaves with their great prehensile upper lip and the 
teeth of the lower jaw. If the young trees are too 
high to reach the moose will ride them down with its 
breast. In eating grass or snow they often kneel, but 
generally adopt a kind of awkward straddle. 

In regard to Western moose President Roosevelt 


Moose- Hunting 325 

In the summer it occasionally climbs to the very summit 
of the wooded ranges, to escape the flies; and it is said that 
in certain places where wolves are plenty the cows retire to 
the top of the mountains to calve. . . . Their ways of life 
of course vary with the nature of the country they frequent. 
In the towering chains of the Rockies,^ clad in sombre and 
unbroken evergreen forests, their habits, in regard to winter 
and summer homes, and choice of places of seclusion for cows 
with young calves and bulls growing their antlers, differ from 
those of their kind which haunt the comparatively low, hilly, 
lake-studded country of Maine and Nova Scotia, where the 
forests are of birch, beech, and maple, mixed with the pine, 
spruce, and hemlock.*' 

General Remarks: The moose is gifted with the 
largest and most efficient nose among American 
fauna, as well as keen «yes and sharp ears. Its 
smelling powers necessitate that it must be hunted 
either up-wind (blowing from the game to the hunter) 
or in a dead calm. Its hide is very tough and, unless 
hit in a vital spot, it will carry off a lot of lead. Its 
flesh, which resembles beef more than does venison, 
is of good flavour, especially after the month of 

The moose, except in the rutting season, is as 
gentle as a deer, in fact more so. It will always run 
from man, the cow not even stopping to defend her 
young. In the mating season, however, the bulls are 
of uncertain temper. Four fifths of them will run, 
even if woimded and cornered, but the other fifth 
will charge, and a charging moose is a terrible oppo- 
nent. It is easy enough to dodge them if the nature 
of the country allows, but when the underbrush is 
thick, and strewn with rocks and tough vines, a 
stumble and fall might mean being hooked and tram- 
pled to death. 

326 The Way of the Woods 

Moose have a way of falling, apparently shot to 
death, and then of recovering unexpectedly and 
either running long distances or escaping entirely. 
Never go too near a moose until you are sure it is 
not only down, but **out/* Rather give it an extra 
bullet in a vital spot. An old guide told me that, 
after knocking down a big bull, he had drawn his 
knife, and, stooping over the moose, was about to 
begin skinning it when it suddenly came to life with 
a mighty sweep of its antlers, which the hunter just 
managed to avoid, and then, getting on its feet, dis- 
appeared in the brush, before the hunter could se- 
cure his rifle for another shot. Bulls fight each other 
savagely in the rutting season and often inflict 
severe wounds, but it is generally a clash, followed 
by a pushing-match, the defeated animal retiring 
from the field before great harm is done. 

Rifles: In connection with no other branch of 
sport does the evergreen controversy between the 
advocates of large and small calibres rage as with 
moose-hunting. This book is not the proper place to 
do more than add my personal testimony and advice, 
but a short statement of the conditions will serve 
to freshen our minds on the prime requisites of a big- 
game rifle, and I will preface this r^sum6 with the 
statement that I am an advocate of the large calibre, 
for any game bigger than deer. It is admitted that 
the best rifle (or perhaps we really ought to say 
cartridge, since the better manufacturers all make 
good rifles) is that one which kills quickest and most 
surely. Penetration alone, though essential, is not 
enough; indeed too much is a detriment, since a bul- 
let should expend all its energy on the game, whereas, 
if a bullet passes completely through a body, it is 


Moose-Hunting 327 

evident that some of its energy is wasted. Thus of 
two bullets of equal size and weight that one that 
goes, say, two thirds of the way through a deer will 
have a greater shocking (and therefore disabling) 
effect than the other that passes quite through, if 
both strike the same place. The ideal bullet would 
just drop out on the opposite side, thus expending 
all its energy while giving two bleeding orifices. In 
the next place it is evident, first that the heavier 
the bullet, and secondly the greater the striking 
surface, the greater will be the shock to the animal. 
The small calibre lovers assert that their rifles (say 
from .25 to .33) shoot with a flatter trajectory (i. e. 
without having to raise the sights so much), are 
easier to handle, have less recoil, and finally that, 
on account of the expansive qualities of the modem 
soft-point bullet, the striking surface is to all purposes 
as great. The answer (correct, it seems to me) is that 
a btillet weighing 170 or 200 grains cannot exert 
such a shock as one weighing from 250 to 400 grains. 
Moose are shot in four cases out of five at a distance 
not over 100 yards, so that a long-range rifle is not 
usually necessary, the .4S-.70-.403 being a better moose 
gun than the .30-.30, in spite of the fact that the 
latter ranges three times the distance. Inventors 
are constantly striving to offset the advantages of 
the big bore while still cleaving to the small, most of 
their experiments having to do with the upset, or 
mushrooming, of the bullet. The latest cartridge 
that I have seen is the Hoxie, which has a hollow 
bullet with a small steel pellet at the point. Upon 
hitting a body, this pellet is driven down the narrower 
hollow channel, splitting it and causing it to flatten 
out .immediately and effectively. On the whole it may 

328 The Way of the Woods 

be said that the chapter is not yet closed, and it would 
be an immodest man who should assert, this or that 
is the only right rifle or cartridge. While many 
moose are killed, and sometimes killed quickly, by 
small-bore bullets, the result of my observations 
and investigations has been to the effect that, taken 
all in all, the large calibre rifles have undoubtedly 
done surer and quicker work. My advice is, therefore, 
to choose one of the following rifles: 

.405 Winchester 


.4S-.90 H. V. 


If the country to be hunted is thick the last-named 
rifle may be low-power, as that carries a bullet weigh- 
ing 105 grains more than the H. V. cartridge, though 
the latter will carry farther. The two first-mentioned 
rifles are terribly effective. If you prefer a smaU- 
calibre choose one of these: 

.30 Springfield (1903) 
.303 Savage 
.33 Winchester 

There are other good rifles of course, and I make no 
mention of foreign wares, as I can see no use in going 
abroad unless we can better ourselves, which, in this 
case, we cannot. Foreign rifles are also three and 
four times as expensive as our own. 

When about to buy a rifle, if you are not sure 
what you want, there are three good plans to follow: 
First send for the catalogues of the prominent mak- 
ers, Winchester, Savage,. Stevens, Remington, Marlin, 

Moose-Hunting 329 

etc., and read them carefully, as they are full of instruc- 
tion ; secondly, inquire of some hunter in whom you 
have confidence who has hunted over the district you 
intend to visit, what kind of weapon is used most 
there; or, thirdly, get some friend to buy your arm 
for you, informing him in regard to your quarry and 
the locality of your hunt. (The addresses of the 
best makers can always be found in the advertising 
sheets of the. sporting periodicals.) If you follow 
the advice given above in regard to calibres you 
will not go wrong, but when it comes to choosing 
sights it is a different question, as that is very much 
a personal matter, eyes varying greatly. As a general 
rule open sights are best for hunting, but many pre- 
fer some kind of peep sight. Ivory front sights are 
generally used. In any case do not choose a com- 
plicated rear sight for hunting, but rather one that 
can be instantly changed, like the "Sporting" and 
others similar. For those preferring peep sights 
the L3rman "receiver" sight may be recommended, 
except for the 1895 Winchester rifles, with which the 
Marble flexible peep sight should be used. In this 
connection read the chapter on Sporting Firearms. 

A cartridge-belt holding at least a dozen cartridges 
is a convenient article to wear, as the extra shells 
are prevented from jingling in the pocket. It is a 
good idea also to carry one loose cartridge in the most 
available pocket and not to have any in the barrel 
unless shooting seems imminent. When this moment 
arrives open the breach slowly and quietly so that a 
cartridge is not thrown into the barrel, and slip the 
extra one in. This can be done with less noise than 
when working the lever hard enough to throw in a 
cartridge. Of course when game seems sure to appear 

330 The Way of the Woods 

any moment the barrel should contain a cartridge, 
but the hammer should be at half-cock, or, in a ham- 
merless, the safety-catch should be on. The movement 
of cocking is made almost automatically as the rifle 
goes to the shoulder. When alone there is less danger 
in keeping a shell in the barrel. 

When in a good game country a rifle should not 
be kept in the case. Many a deer and moose has been 
lost by the neglect of this rule. 


There are two recognised methods of hunting the 
moose, Calling and Still-hunting. 


This is practised during the rutting season, when 
both bulls and cows are wandering about (called 
travelling) seeking a mate, and consists in imitating 
the low or call of the cow, and sometimes the chal- 
lenge of the bull, for the purpose of luring the bull 
within shooting distance. It has been rather the 
fashion with writers to question the entire sporting 
morality of this method, but, it seems to me, without 
reason; for, carried out logically, the same line of 
argument (unfair advantage of the game, etc.) 
would condemn all shooting for sport, with which 
ultra standpoint, which in itself is quite consistent, 
we can have no quarrel. Successful moose-calling 
can be practised only under weather conditions which 
obtain only rarely, and requires a great deal of skill on 
the part of the caller, as well as coolness and nerve on 
that of the sportsman, who, after waiting a long time 
in the bitter cold without stirring, and proba! ^y sub- 



By courtesy of " Forest and Stream " 


Moose-Hunting 331 

jected to a good deal of suppressed excitement, must 
pull himself together at the proper moment and shoot 
straight. As a matter of sporting morality all our 
cervidae should be protected during the rutting 
season, but, since it is allowed by law, it is just as 
well to remark that many years of moose-hunting, 
both still-hunting and calling, have convinced me 
that the one method is every bit as sportsmanlike 
as the other; in fact that, if anything, calling gives 
the moose the fairer chance. I believe that most 
of those writers whose authority obtains in the land, 
and who oppose calling as distinctly inferior to*' fair 
and square still-hunting,** are gentlemen whose 
experience in moose-hunting has been very restricted ; 
for no man is really an experienced moose-hunter 
who has not lived years in the moose country, long 
enough to have hunted the big deer dozens of times 
and to have absorbed an intimate knowledge of its 
habits and natureu Most authorities aver that in 
calling, the beast, absolutely blinded by passion and 
taken completely off its guard, is lured to a sure 
death, while the sportsman sits comfortably on a 
log and leaves all the scientific part of the work to his 
guide, merely shooting the unsuspecting quarry down 
when it appears. Now what is the actual truth? 
I quote from my own letter to Forest and Stream: 

The bull moose, far from being so blinded by passion as 
to be unsuspicious, is never in the whole course of his existence 
so absolutely suspicious and on his guard as when he ap- 
proaches either a cow or a caller in the mating season. Un- 
questionably he is eager for the tryst, but his every sense -is 
alert, for his instinct, and often his experience, tells him that 
many a danger lurks. His eyes, his ears, and most of all his 
abnormal nose are never so keenly at work. Let the lightest 
breath of air be stirring and he will never come to the call 

332 The Way of the Woods 

except from the leeward, circling the locality of the call if 
necessary, and then his coming will depend entirely upon the 
scent his delicate nostrils receive. If a cow is calling he 
will come; if a man, never. Would this be the case if he 
were the passion-blinded, unsuspecting beast the *'fair and 
square still-hunters" would make him? 

It will be said that the caller plies his trade only in a dead 
calm, when the chief defensive weapon of the bull is powerless. 
This must be admitted; but does the still-hunter take no 
such advantage of his quarry? • 

"There are some days," says the classic authority on still- 
hunting, "when you might almost as well stay at home. 
Such are the still, warm days of autumn, when you can hear 
a squirrel scamper over the dead leaves a hundred yards away. 
. . . Such are the days when the snow is crusty and stiflE 
or grinds under your feet; ... in short, all days when 
you cannot walk without making a noise, etc; . . . against 
a strong wind they cannot smell you and cannot hear you 
as well as usual." (T. Van Dyke.) 

This was written of deer-hunting, and moose have bigger 
and better noses and ears. Does the good still-hunter of 
moose go forth in any weather but that of his own choosing ? 
Never. He chooses a windy day, and* one on which neither 
too much dryness nor crusty snow will cause noisy walking, 
and he approaches his quarry carefully from the leeward 
side or across the wind. The storm-and-stress period of the 
great beasts' yearly life has ended; they have yarded and are 
either lying down, quietly and peacefully resting, or as peace- 
fully browsing on the young trees, in either case as unsuspi- 
cious as a moose ever is. The moose lies down with his eyes 
and nose to leeward and throws up his big ears to catch any 
sound borne to him by the wind blowing over his back. He 
feels himself secure, for he is at home and not going out of his 
way to "look for trouble" as when he went courting. On 
this account any hostile sound comes as a surprise and he 
is not especially on his guard; for which reason, as above 
said, when he is shot it is nearly always from ambush and 
without warning. 

Much more might be said about the comparative success 
of the two methods — ^whether there are more failures in 
calling than in still-hunting, as I believe; the difficulty of 

Moose-Hunting 333 

shcx>ting straight after waiting near the freezing point for an 
hour, usually more, etc. It is, of course, more sportsmanlike 
to call a bull yourself than to have him called for you, but 
might not the same argument be used against the bird- 
hunter who uses a setter? Watching a good dog work is 
acknowledged to be one of the great charms of bird-shooting, 
and yet he greatly aids the hunter. He warns his master and 
even points out the very spot whence the quarry will rise. 
How, then, about the calling of a moose ? Is there no interest 
in seeing and hearing a practised guide call up a bull moose ? 
Verily there is. And the moments following the answer 
of the bull cannot be matched in any kind of hunting for 
excitement, at least in North America. 

Doubtless moose are more easily circtimvented, 
by both methods, in little hunted districts, which is 
merely repeating an ancient sporting axiom. In a 
country like Nova Scotia, where they have been 
pursued longest, they are very wary. They know 
well man and his works and cannot be called, as I 
have heard has been done farther west, by beating on 
a tree. 

How easy it is for even a ** great authority" to 
fall into error is instanced by Mr. A. J. Stone (really 
an authority in his own field), who tells us (The 
D^^ Fawi/3;, American Sportsman's Library): **Just 
here I want to correct a very general impression that 
the bull moose can be called by the use of the birch- 
bark horn, in the belief that he is approaching a 
female. No bull was ever half so stupid; such a 
thing is entirely unreasonable.'* (!) This sounds 
like the line of argument adopted by the enemies 
of Columbus. There are several thousand moose- 
hunters in Maine and Canada who, in spite of Mr. 
Stone's ** correction," are still victims to the general 
impression that the bull moose can be called » 

334 The Way of the Woods 

Calling is done with a horn of birch-bark from 15 
to 18 inches long, about | of an inch wide at the 
small end and 3i to 4 inches at the other. It is an 
art only to be mastered by long experience in the 
woods, with plenty of opportunities for listening 
to cow moose themselves, as well as to good human 
callers. The greatest artist is he who best knows 
and can closely imitate the many lows, whines, and 
grunts of the cow in the rutting season, and as they 
are numerous, and vary with individual cows, it is 
no simple task. This variety of note accounts for the 
fact that hardly any two guides seem to call in the 
same manner, one making a sound like a trumpet, 
another like a steam siren, while a third might be 
an old sow with a case of bronchitis. In general, 
however, the low of the cow moose yearning for male 
companionship is a long-drawn-out Oo-wau-ach ! be- 
ginning in a high key, swelling, and then sinking 
through about an octave on the prolonged wau^ 
which is slightly guttural, and ending with a grunt. 
This is repeated once or twice. From ten to twenty 
minutes intervene between the calls. The calling 
takes place from some point of vantage, perhaps a 
rock, knoll, or tree, commanding a bog, barren, or 
other space open enough to give a fair shot at a bull 
approaching within a couple of hundred yards. Some 
call from canoes, but these offer an unsteady shooting 
platform, and it is better to be a little above one's 
quarry than below it. 

As moose generally remain quiet during the day, 
and some air is always stirring so long as the sun is 
above the horizon, it follows that there are only two 
periods of the day or night in which calling is possible, 
since the first and most absolute essential is a dead 

Moose-Hunting 335 

calm. The reason for this is twofold: first, and 
less important, so that the caller may hear a distant 
answer, and chiefly because, if the slightest breeze 
is stirring, the moose, though he may hear the call 
and approach, will not ** speak" (answer), but will 
surely keep out of sight and circle round until he 
gets to leeward and tests the scent. Then good-bye, 
Sir Moose. 

The choice between morning and evening for calling 
is often solved by accepting both. For myself, I 
do not like to call at night, except under certain 
conditions, for the reason that the bull is all too apt 
to arrive after it is too dark for anything but a chance 
shot, which can satisfy no true sportsman. I have 
known of too many bulls coming up late at night 
from a great distance and passing within a few yards 
of the impotent hunters, usually to get their scent 
and disappear for good. Another mistake too easily 
made in the dusk is to shoot a cow for a bull, a very 
common occurrence. The only occasion when calling 
in the late afternoon is justifiable is when the party 
is intending to leave that part of the country before 
morning, or when there is at least an hour or more 
of daylight left. In the latter case a few calls, made 
low, so as not to start a bull at a greater distance 
than he can cover before dark, may be made, the 
real calling being reserved for the morning. 

Called bulls act in very different ways. Occasionally 
one will answer and come up at once, ** speaking" 
every few minutes, while another will approach 
noiselessly without any vocal accompaniment, re- 
connoitre the situation, and disappear without the 
hunter knowing of its presence. This is likely to be 
a young bull that has already felt the antlers of a 

336 The Way of the Woods 

successful rival, or one that has been shot at in times 
past. The extraordinary noiselessness with which 
such a monstrous animal can walk through thick 
bushes and dry shrubs on a perfectly still morning 
is perfectly wonderful, and is due in great measure 
to its comparatively small hoofs, which it places 
gingerly on the ground. A big bull is apt to come 
to the call fairly roaring with rage, especially in the 
evening, but as a rule he is too much on his guard 
to do more than utter his rather subdued **wah! " 
A quiet bull is often betrayed by his antlers, which, 
in the heavy timber, he cannot prevent from striking 
against an occasional limb, making a soimd too 
characteristic to be mistaken. 

Camp is made either on the calling-ground itself 
or within easy approach. No more noise is made than 
is actually necessary, chopping being avoided tinless 
a strong wind blows from the direction whence the 
bull is likely to come. If in the immediate vicinity 
of the calling-place even a fire is a risk. If made it 
should be a small one of dry hard wood, giving little 
smoke. No cruising about the vicinity is allowable. 
Some guides even taboo the pipe in camp, and of 
course always when calling. It is best to eat nothing 
the evening before that will cause the stomach to 
roll audibly, such a noise being very disconcerting 
when listening in a dead calm. One should rise in 
time to get a bite to eat, as nothing is so foolish as to 
go out in the cold with an empty stomach. A cup 
of hot coffee and a biscuit will suffice. 

There is one little luxury of moose-calling that I 
have found most convenient, namely, a small elec- 
tric pocket-lamp. Before daybreak it saves the 
trouble of striking innumerable matches to consult 

Moose-Hunting 337 

one's watch, and it is handy when getting to the 
ground in darkness. One should be at the calling- 
place at dawn or a few minutes before, and if it is 
the still, frosty morning desired, the hunter will be 
grateful for everything warm that he can pull on: 
double underclothes, sweater, two or three pairs of 
socks, mittens, and, if camp is near by, a blanket too. 
The whisky-flask may or may not be taken along. 
I have known it to raise the temperature of the blood 
when it badly needed raising. The caller takes his 
chosen station while the others of the party make 
themselves as comfortable as possible, taking posi- 
tions in which they can remain a considerable time 
without changing or "fidgeting,** as any and every 
noise prevents the caller from devoting his undivided 
attention to listening for the far-off "wah!** of a 
bull. When the great beast is within a mile or less 
the hunters either remain where they are, or the 
caller may send them to stations nearer the bull; 
this depends entirely on the "lay of the land.'* If 
the caller cannot induce an apparently unwilling 
bull by carefully modulated whines and lows, or, if 
those fail, by imitating the challenge of the bull and 
striking the bushes with his bark call as if a rival 
were trying his antlers, he must either be given up or 
still-hunted, and this, in a calm and with the bull's sus- 
picions completely aroused, is a difl&cult task indeed. 

When the bull approaches as near as he seems likely 
to come, give it to him without delay, taking a 
steady aim at his shoulder or a little behind it, rather 
low than high, so as not to miss the vital organs. 
If you fire when he is facing you, aim at the middle 
of his chest. Keep firing until he is down is the only 
good rule. 

338 The Way of the Woods 


"There is no grander sport," says Theodore 
Roosevelt, "than still-hunting the moose, whether 
in the vast pine and birch forests of the Northeast, 
or among the stupendous mountain masses of the 
Rockies,** a sentiment in which. every experienced 
hunter must concur. If you have won your master's 
degree by laying low the deer or the caribou, here 
is your chance to become a "doctor** in the faculty 
of still-hunting. You must put in practice every 
rule you have been taught and you must add a few 
new ones. The chief reasons for this difficulty in 
still-hunting the moose lie in the great beast *s ab- 
normal senses of hearing and smell, and in the fact 
that the hunter must for the greatest part of the 
time work in thick woods, most difficult to penetrate 
without noise and too dense to see the quarry until 
very near it. It is easy to lay down a general plan 
of campaign, but the thousand and one little rules 
which must be applied on the spot, according to the 
momentary situation, cannot be even catalogued. 

A few words in regard to equipment. 

One goes forth prepared to walk a long time, perhaps 
all day, over killing country. A drenching is possi- 
ble, wet feet and legs beyond question. On the cold- 
est day you will perspire while your ears tingle. The 
obvious solution is wool next the skin; not too thick, 
or you will be uncomfortably hot. Two or three pairs 
of socks may be worn with moose-shanks (see Per- 
sonal Outfit) or moccasins or larrigans. Larrigans, 
coming over the ankle, are better than moccasins as 
they do not so easily fill with water, mud, and snow, 
and do not come off. Knee-high boots with mocca- 

Moose-Hunting 339 

sin feet are good though often heavy, and every 
ounce tells in an aH-day tramp. If worn the trousers 
( or stockings should be drawn over the uppers, as 
( leather is too noisy. For the same reason no other 
part of the hunter's dress should be of any material 
that makes a sound when scraped against trees, brush, 
or rocks. Nails in boots, canvas of all varieties, rubber 
(except perhaps for soles), etc., must be tabooed. 
Knitted mittens are best in cold weather, as they 
are kept warm by the heat of the hands even when 
wet, wjiich they usually are in still-hunting. 

A lunch sufficient for the day, and of a character 
not easily damaged by the wet, must be taken along, 
as well as the water-proof matchbox, the hunting- 
knife, and a dozen cartridges (or a half-dozen besides 
those in the magazine of the rifle), not carried loose 
in the pocket, where they will rattle, but in the loops 
of the belt or some other quiet manner. One of the 
party, the hunter of the day, takes the lead, the oth- 
ers, unless otherwise directed, following in single file. 
It is best that nobody, excepting perhaps the leader, 
should carry a cartridge in his rifle-barrel as long as 
the members of the party are grouped near together. 
Like the "caller," though to a less extent, the 
still-hunter is dependent upon the weather. The 
elements must be more or less in uproar, in order to 
swallow up the sound of his awkward hiunan going, 
before he ventures forth with any hope of "creeping 
on*' a moose. A breezy morning after a light snow- 
storm is the ideal condition. The direction of the 
wind is noted and signs of a yard are sought, such 
as fresh tracks, dung, and browsing. Unless fresh- 
tracks are found hunters usually look for browsing 
(tree-croppings) that is not over a day or two old, 

340 The Way of the Woods 

which will indicate that the locality is part of a yard, 
i. e. that moose are not very far joff . In that case 
the wind tells the hunter about the direction in which 
to seek his quarry, for moose, in a general way, 
remain near the leeward limit of the yard. The 
time of day and the weather will indicate whether the 
moose is likely to be lying down in a swamp or out 
in the sun on the barren, or feeding. The probabilities 
having thus been determined, the approach is begun, 
up or across wind, of course. Every man goes as 
noiselessly as he may. No use of tobacco is petmitted 
and talking should be limited to the whispered direc- 
tions of the leader. No chances of snapping twigs 
or breaking through old logs are taken. Bushes are 
quietly put aside with the free hand. Each man 
steps in the tracks of the man ahead unless he can 
obviously improve on them — ^in case, for example, 
the man in front plants his foot on a slippery or 
treacherous place. The moose may be but a hundred 
yards away ; no man can tell, for their general habits 
cannot be relied upon absolutely. It will in most 
cases feed and travel with the wind ; it will lie down 
during the noon hours; but there are many exceptions 
to these rules. Nevertheless it is well to go round, 
if the wind will permit, as it usually will, and find 
the leeward limit of the yard. The advance then may 
be straight ahead, but more likely zigzag or with 
frequent right-angle cuts, especially if the course of 
the animal is uncertain. The object is to make sure 
that the moose is still ahead of the hunt, and has not 
circled off to one side or the other, in which case the 
hunters might soon be to windward of the moose, 
which would get the scent and the hunt would be up 
for that day. 

Moose-Hunting 341 

The novice will, of course, hardly possess the 
temerity to try hunting moose alone. He needs 
a good guide, and, while taking a few lessons of this 
master, he will perhaps learn the faster for the above 
synopsis of the grammar of the art. 


Most old hunters recommend that wounded moose 
should not be followed unless the wound is apparently 
fatal; for, if slightly hurt, the animal will run too 
fast and far to be overtaken. If not pursued, however, 
it very often lies down, and the wound may bleed 
to such an extent, or cause such stiffness, that the 
animal can be found next morning in so weak a 
condition as to prevent its escape. The severer the 
wound the more likely is this to occur. I lost a fine 
moose once by following it too soon. The shot was 
too long for certainty (400 yards in a thin mist), but 
there was such a flow of blood that I was convinced 
I should overtake the moose in a short time. In fact 
as I entered a swamp I heard the animal travelling 
not far in advance, and I pressed forward in excite- 
ment. Had I stopped to think I would have known 
that I might better wait until the next day, for the 
moose had had a good start of me, and the fact that 
I had come up with it coxdd only mean that the 
wound was severe enough to 'cause it to stop and 
probably lie down, getting up again only when it 
heard me. Had I waited some hours the quarry 
would very likely have been mine, but as it was I 
never saw it again, and had it not been that it /an 
into another party of hunters and was killed by them 
I should have had a possible lingering death on my 


The Way of the Woods 

conscience. This is but one of very many such in- 
stances that will occur to experienced hunters. 


(See also under Deer-Hunting,) Mr. Kephart says, 
**If a complete job of butchering is to be done [elk 
or moose], there must be a horse, or several men 
with a ^ope, to elevate the body.*' Some pretty good 
jobs of butchering are done in the Maritime Provinces 
and in Maine, and it is needless to say that no horse 
is available, and that the butchering is almost in- 
variably done on the ground, a moose weighing any- 
where from 700 pounds upwards, usually about 850 
or more. Proceed as for a deer, and be sure to cut 
round the neck way down to the shoulders, to allow 
enough skin for the taxidermist. The head skin is 
removed after making a cut from the shoulders up 
the back of the neck to a point about three inches 
behind the antlers (or between the ears) and then 
cuts from that point diago- 
nally to each antler-base and 
round the antler. (Figure 68.) 
Cut the ear cartileges close to 
the skull, and be careful not 
to injure the inner and outer 
skins of the eyelids. Cut 
round the tops of the gums 
and the lining of the nostrils. 
Sever the head at the last 
vertebra. Take out the brain and scrape the skull clean 
of all flesh, then dry. Tie the lower jaw to the skull, to 
prevent its loss. The scalp must be cleaned of flesh and 
fat, rubbed with salt, and folded up over night in a 

Fig. 68. — Moose-Head 
Showing Cutting Lines 

Moose- Hunting 343 

cool place. In the morning open and salt again; then 
dry and keep from fly-blows. The hide may be 
cleaned and salted. It should not be allowed to get 
wet. Moose-hide is less valuable than buckskin or 
caribou-hide, but the skin makes a good rug for the 
cabin floor. Antlers are measured between the 
two points farthest from each other, but at right 
angles with the backbone of the animal and not 
diagonally across. The length and breadth of the 
pads are also measured. (See page 359.) 

Many sporting books contain accounts of moose- 
hunting, among them T. Roosevelt's Wilderness 
Hunter, Mr. SelovLs's Hunting Trips in North 
America, and others, but I know of no £raohv 
book that treats of the subject fully and 



The Virginia or White-tail deer {Odocoileus vir- 
ginianus) is the most widely distributed of our big 
game, and hence the best-known and most hunted. It 
is also the most beautiful in form and graceful in 
movement. It is by far the wariest deer on the Amer- 
ican continent. It is found in most of the northern 
United States and in Canada, but is commonest in 
Maine, northern New York, Vermont, Minnesota, 
Montana, Michigan, Ontario, and parts of New 
Brunswick. With certain dwarf varieties of the 
White-tail inhabiting the Southern States we have 
no concern here. 

The doe usually gives birth to one fawn in May, 
a beautiful little spotted creature weighing about 
jy • « ^^ pounds. The adult buck weighs 
about 200 pounds, though large ones 
range up to 280. **A large buck stands 36 inches 
high at the shoulders, is 53 inches in length of head 
and body, its tail is 7 inches long to the end of the 
vertebrae, and 5 inches more to the end of the hair. 
A fairly large pair of antlers from central Montana 
are 23^ inches in length from burr to tip of beam, 
spread 18 inches, and have 13 points." (Homaday.) 

The coat is reddish in summer, when the antlers 
are in velvet, but changes to a ** mottled brown- 


Deer-Hunting 345 

grey" in auttimn and winter, with lighter tints 
below. The tail, from which this deer derives its 
popular name, is long, wedge-shaped and bushy, white 
in colour underneath and round the edges above. 
This *' flag " is elevated when the animal is alarmed, and 
is a well-known sign to sportsmen, meaning that the 
deer is on the jump and aimed for the next county! 

Like other deer the White-tail mates in early 
autumn, which is also the time of the open hunting- 
season. It is worthy of comment that, while we 
protect almost all other animals and birds in the 
mating season, we fail to do this in the case of the 
pride of our fauna, the CervidcB. 

The antlers of the White-tail are small, but beau- 
tifully shaped and poised. Spikes are usually grown 
the first year, after which points, or snags, appear; 
not one for each year of the deer's growth, as was 
formerly believed, but according to the animal's 
vigour, though of course the general rule holds 
good that the more numerous the points the older 
the deer. The White-tail buck has been known to 
carry 78 points with a spread of 26J inches, but a 
pair of antlers bearing from 4 to 8 points on each 
beam is far handsomer. Monstrosities are frequent 
in old deer, and many interlocked pairs of antlers 
have been found, the result of fights fatal to both 

Living herded together in small companies, or 
even a single pair with perhaps a faun of the year 
before, the deer pass the winter in "yards," Habits 

partially pathed and trampled-down tracts 
where there is good feed of evergreens, moss, twigs, 
and dry grass. When the snow disappears the bucks 

346 The Way of the Woods 

and the does separate, going their own ways singly 
or in twos and threes. They fatten on the new and 
rich verdure, the winter coat conies off and is replaced 
by the sleek stmimer dress. The fawn is born towards 
the middle of May, in thick cover. One fawn is the 
rule if it is the first-bom, afterwards one or two, 
and even (very rarely) three. The fawn remains where 
it is bom for some weeks (unlike the moose and 
wapiti). Its colour is a rich brown ornamented with 
rows of white spots. After the fourth or fifth week 
the fawn follows its mother and develops rapidly. 
Deer feed very early in the day and towards and 
through the evening. About noon in the north woods 
they visit a drinking-place, though the daily drink 
may be postponed to evening near settlements. On 
moonlit nights they are almost sure to be abroad. The 
fawn loses its spots in September and thereafter 
shifts for itself so far as food is concemed, for the 
mother will nurse it no longer. But though weaned 
they continue to follow the dam, the yotmg bucks 
usually for a single year, the females for two. The 
older young are kept at a distance, however, while 
their baby brethren are being nursed. In January 
the antlers are shed; sooner if very vigorous, later 
if weak. The new antlers begin to show as soft 
knobs in a few weeks after the old ones are dropped, 
and are full-grown by August. Almost to the last 
they are rather soft, have blood-vessels and nerves, 
and are therefore subject to frequent accidents and 

In regard to clothing and accoutrements the 
reader is referred to the chapter on Moose-Hunting, 
as the requirements for still-hunting that animal are 
oractically identical with deer-hunting necessities. A 

Deer-Hunting 347 

typical costume may consist of felt hat, soft silk 
neckerchief, thin pure-woollen underwear, ^ « 

grey woollen shirt, flannel-lined brown 
corded waistcoat with deep pockets, neutral-coloured 
coat or sweater (in very cold weather both), belt 
(with dull buckle) on which are fastened hunting- 
knife sheath and cartridge loops, soft but stout woollen 
trousers tucked into heavy woollen stockings or 
socks, and double-soled moccasins. Knickerbockers 
with woollen leggings are also good. If high-legged 
larrigans sue. worn they must be covered with the 
trousers or stockings, as otherwise the underbrush 
scratches against them noisily. In cold weather 
a pair of thick knit woollen gloves or mittens are a 
necessity, though some prefer buckskin. I have 
found the latter cold when wet, while the wool is 
always warm. The emergency lunch and the water- 
proof matchbox should always be in the pocket. 

A binocular in the north woods is generally more 
bother than worth, except in bare, mountainous 
regions, or in Newfoundland. 

A big, heavy bullet is not so necessary in shooting 
deer as moose or bear, and many sportsmen incline 
to the use of such rifles as the Springfield ^^^ 

.30, the Savage .303, or the Winchester 
.30 or .33, of course with soft-nosed bullets. But a 
large class will decidedly prefer a bigger calibre, 
such as the .45-.70 and .35 Winchester or the automatic 
.35. The only objection of any moment to the use of 
the heavier bullets is that they often spoil much 
meat; but the vital parts of the animal do not lie 
under the best meat, and even if they did the loss 
of a little meat wotdd be a small price to pay for the 

348 The Way of the Woods 

sudden and easy death of the quarry. In case a 
small calibre is used the new Hoxie cartridge, which 
has a quickly expanding bullet, may be recommended. 

Loop-straps, with room for a dozen cartridges, and 
easily fastened to the belt, can be had of the dealers. 
C tr'd Carried in this manner the cartridges do 
not rattle noisily as when carried in the 
pocket. You will have from four to ten cartridges in 
your rifle-magazine besides the extra dozen, enough 
to kill a whole herd of deer. 

Before starting out, practice with your rifle upon 
objects in different lights and at different elevations, 
g. - . For running deer a barrel running down 

hill is a good target. Do not try to follow 
the barrel with your rifle, but aim at some point 
that will be traversed by the barrel and shoot when 
the barrel crosses it. Sight your rifle for 80 yards; 
that is, set the sights so that, using a natural bead, 
neither too fine nor too coarse, the rifle will shoot 
neither over nor under. Thus sighted it will be 
found that you can shoot point-blank, as it is called, 
at game anywhere between distances of 30 to 150 
yards without changing the sights, by taking a finer 
or coarser bead, as the case may be, the inch or two 
difference in the flight of the bullet being no great 

Practice shooting both offhand and with a rest, 
but when drawing a bead on game take every advan- 
Shooting tage. Kneel or take a good rest against 
at Game a tree or over a rock if the situation will 
allow. Be expeditious, but deliberate. Never take 

Deer-Hunting 349 

a pot-shot at a patch of colour in the bush; wait 
for a better opportunity and perhaps refrain from 
sla5Hlng a fellow-man. 

Carry your weapon in the hollow of your arm, 
pointing at the ground, or, if someone is in front, 
off to one side; or over the shoulder, Carrying 
but the usual method, with the trigger- the Rifle 
guard down, is dangerous to the front sight, as it is 
very apt to come in sharp contact with limbs and be 
knocked out of pltunb. Rather turn the under side 
of the rifle up, or, if leading, carry the stock over the 
shoulder and hold the rifle by the barrel. Carry the 
barrel empty and throw in a cartridge only when 
there is an actual probability of seeing game. Then 
carry the hammer at half-cock, or, in the case of 
a hammerless, with the safety-catch on. Get into the 
excellent habit of looking every few minutes to see 
that all is right with your rifle. More than once in my 
life I have discovered, with something of a shock, 
that my rifle was at full-cock, probably by being 
scraped by a branch. Remember that guns will go 
off, in spite of the greatest care. See to it that, when 
they do, they shall not be pointed in the direction of 
your companions. For the same reason of caution 
never, under any provocation or temptation, shoot 
unless you can see plainly what you are shooting 
at. It is worse to take a snap-shot and wound a deer 
without getting it than to miss entirely, and you may 
also find that your mark was a man, in which case 
go hang yourself at once and rid the world of a 
criminal fool. There was a time in Maine not so long 
since when I would have worn a red-and-white 
striped sweater while hunting deer, or stay at home. 

350 The Way of the Woods 

The deer-hunting season is in the autumn, the 
legal period for killing being in the principal States 
^, in 1907 as follows: Maine, October ist to 

December 15th; Vermont, October 21st 
to October 27th inclusive; New Hampshire, October 
ist to December ist; New York (with local excep- 
tions), September 15th to November ist; Michigan, 
November loth to December ist; Minnesota and 
Wisconsin, November loth to December ist; Mon- 
tana, September ist to December 15th; Quebec, 
September ist to January ist; Ontario, November 
ist to November 15th; New Brunswick, September 
15th to December ist. 

The legal seasons in other districts, as well as 
local exceptions and changes in the game laws, may- 
be ascertained from Game Laws in Brief, published 
periodically by Forest and Stream, New York city 

Hunting deer cannot be learned from this or any 
other book, and the novice who goes forth for the 
Methods of first time into the woods without a com- 
Hunting petent guide is a very foolish man if he 
thinks to get a shot at a deer. The following remarks 
are therefore only to be considered as containing the 
A B C of the art, general maxims upon which to build 
success with the aid of experience. 

Since hounding (chasing with dogs), crusting (pur- 
suing over crusted snow, through which the small 
feet of the deer break), and jacking (night-shooting 
by means of the dark lantern, or **jack") have long 
since rightly become illegal, the only method now 
practised in the north country is still-hunting, which 
may be distinguished from stalking (the usual Eng- 

Deer-Hunting 351 

lish word) by the fact that it takes place not in open, 
but in forest country, thus being different from the 
chase of the British cervidcs or of most of our own 
in the West. In general the hints on still-hunting the 
moose may be followed. Arrived on the ground, ev- 
idence of the recent presence of deer is sought in the 
shape of fresh tracks and droppings, browsing, rub- 
bings on trees, etc., and the game is then approached 
across or against the wind. On a still day one might 
better stay at home, or when the snow has a noisy 
crust. Smoking is bad, in spite of the assurance of 
some guides to the contrary, nor should the guide 
chew tobacco; for, if I can smell a chew ten 
yards, a deer can nose it at ten times that distance, 
unless the wind is very strong against the hunter. 
All talking and rattling of Accoutrements must be 
avoided. The breaking of even a large stick may 
not actually **jtunp" a deer, being a natural noise 
of the forest, but it will certainly put it on its guard 
for a minute; and, should such a thing happen under 
the moccasin, it is well to keep perfectly still for at 
leaat that period, for the deer's keen ears will be 
turned in your direction, and, should any additional 
noise be heard, it will be off at once. The freshness of 
the signs will indicate in a general way the nearness 
of the game, and of course cautiousness should in- 
crease with propinquity. In following tracks go as 
swiftly as may be, but not so fast as to make false 
steps and allow hurry to dull the senses. A deer's 
track is very like those of the hog and sheep. Study 
them all, and learn to observe all tracks in the coun- 
try, even your own, in order to become expert in the 
judgment of their freshness. In trailing, since you 
have only the perceptions of yourself or your guide to 

352 The Way of the Woods 

trust, great care must be taken when the game seems 
very near. When you finally catch sight of it shoot 
without delay if the shot is a clear one and not too 
far. Otherwise try to get nearer. The white man's 
tendency is to shoot at very first sight of the quarry, 
even if obscured by bushes. Deciding this point 
is, of course, one of the most important parts of 
deer-hunting, and it depends upon coolness and 
judgment. Practically it is a matter of temperament, 
but the impulsive man loses the most game. As a 
rule aim at some partictdar part of the animal and 
not at the whole body. If the deer is facing or partly 
facing you, shoot it through the neck, so that the bul- 
let will range back through vital parts or break the 
neck. If side-on, strike behind the shoulder, so 
that heart or lungs will be pierced. Hit low rather 
than high, or the vitals, except the spine, may be 
be missed. 

Says Van Dyke, "The first thing to do when a 
deer is wounded is generally to do nothing." This is 
Handling a of course in case another good shot is not 
Wounded available, for, as in moose-hunting, the 
^^^ cardinal nile is to shoot as long as the 

quarry is on its legs. But if it starts to run after 
being hit do not follow, for, even if very badly hurt, 
its fear will keep it running until beyond finding in 
case of pursual, while, if not followed, it is most 
likely to lie down shortly and become so stiff, or 
lose so much blood, that it is easily found and put 
out of its misery after several hours, or, if wounded 
at night, then next morning. When you do start 
on its trail proceed as if it were perfectly sound, 
especially if the trail shows a decreasing flow of blood. 

Deer-Hunting 353 

A deer*s ears are much keener than its eyes, and, 
if the huntsmen keep perfectly motionless upon the 
appearance of a deer, it will frequently pass slowly 
without taking alarm, unless it should get the man's 
scent. In shooting at a running deer be careful not 
to fire too high, as the deer is then nearer the ground 
than when standing; besides, the general tendency 
of novices is to overshoot. A favourite ruse of the 
old hunter was to take a stand on a runway, or 
regular path used by the deer going to water, or at 
the drinking-place itself, or again at a ** salt-lick," 
a spot upon which salt has been heaped to attract 
the deer, which are very fond of it. The sportsman- 
ship of these manoeuvres is extremely questionable. 

When a deer is down do not be too eager to finish 
him with the knife ; be on the safe side and give him 
another shot in heart, brain, or spine. 

All game should be bled as soon as shot, in order 
to make it keep fresh longer. In many cases 
the animal will have bled sufficiently Packing 
through the wound, but if this, in the I>ecr 

hunter's judgment, has not taken place, make a 
thrust with the knife into the breast at its point 
and give the knife a couple of turns. A moose is 
usually skinned and cut up at once, but, unless very 
far from camp, the carcass of a deer is generally 
packed thither, either single-handed, balancing the 
deer over the shoulders and holding by the feet, or, 
better, by two men on a litter, or lashed to a pole, or, 
finally, by dragging on a bush. Before starting there 
is, however, one imperative duty, that of paunching 
the quarry, to avoid early putrefaction and to lighten 
the burden. If packed single-handed the best way 

354 The Way of the Woods 

is to tie legs and head together by means of a rope 
running through the mouth, lower jaw and the four 
gambrels. The loop thus formed fits well over the 
shoulders. A litter for two men is quickly made of 
two saplings with cross-pieces every two feet or less. 
The deer should be securely lashed to it. Fore and 
hind legs may be lashed to a pole, carried on the 
men's shoulders. A small animal may be tied to the 
top of a bush and dragged, head foremost, to camp 
over snow or a particularly smooth trail. A pack- 
horse would make things easy, but the north woods 
knows them not, a few Western districts aside. The 
brush is too thick. 

In case there is no time to skin and cut up the 
carcass before returning to camp, hang it up out of 
reach of bears on a pole resting between the limbs 
of two trees. In case you are alone and the deer is 
heavy, bend down a sapling that takes all your 
strength to curve over, and attach the head to the 
trimmed-off top by means of a withe, a stout spruce 
root, or your hunting-belt. You have previously to 
this constructed a tripod of poles forked at the top, 
and upon this you now proceed to hang up the 
carcass, attaching the loop to the forks. The spring 
of the sapling will help raise the deer, and, by raising 
first one pole and then the other, a sufiicient elevation 
can be attained. This is, however, by no means so 
easy to do as it reads, and a duffer had best content 
himself with burying his quarry under boughs, with 
perhaps a tripod of poles or a handkerchief or the 
blown-up bladder on a stick over it, to frighten off 
wild marauders. 

If hung up unskinned a smudge is dangerous to the 

Deer- Hunting 355 

hide and practically useless, unless tended constantly. 
It is my practice to carry with me three or four yards 
of cheesecloth (which has been dipped in „- . . 
alum- water at home), and this I wrap 
closely round whatever parts of the animal I espe- 
cially wish to preserve. If a round of venison is thus 
done up, preferably with a needle and thread, it is 
safe from fly-blows, which are the bane of hunters. 
If unskinned a head may also be kept clean in like 
manner. The cheesecloth takes up little more room 
than a napkin, and amply repays the small bulge in the 
coat-pocket. The usual way to protect skinned 
meat is to form as quickly as possible a thin layer 
of hard flesh on the outside, by exposing either to the 
sun or to a thick smudge made of green stuff, rotten 
wood, etc. The flesh will dry and harden quickly 
in the sun, but should be protected from the flies 
for the first fifteen minutes or more by the waving 
of a branch. The smudge method is better. If a 
smudge is left burning by itself great care should be 
taken to prevent its bursting into flame and spreading, 
by banking it with earth and stones and clearing a 
space about it of all inflammable material. In the 
thick woods do not risk leaving a smudge to take 
care of itself; in many places it is even against the 

In cutting up a deer's carcass it will be found most 
convenient to hang it up; by the head is best, as it 
will drain better, skin and cut better, and Skinning 
the head is not so apt to become soiled, and Cutting 
But the usual way is to hang up by a stick ^P 

thrust through the gambrel joints of the hind-legs. If 
not hung up the carcass should be so placed that the 

3S6 The Way of the Woods 

head is higher than the tail. In skinning, the rtde, 
if head and hide are regarded as of any value, 
is to make all incisions with the knife as few 
and inconspicuous as possible, and they should 
therefore be confined to the middle line of the tinder 
surface of the body and the inner side of the limbs. 
In case the head is to be mounted alone, as is usual, 
the first cut should begin where the neck joins the 
back and run in a circle downwards round the neck 
to the point of the breast and up on the other side. 
Be sure to cut far enough back, as the taxidermists 
are badly handicapped by a short neck. The whole 
head may now be removed to be skinned later, or 
the body may be skinned first. The better plan is 
the former, as it makes the carcass lighter, but this 
is, of course, only if the animal lies on the ground 
or hangs head-down. The hide is turned back and 
skinned round the circular incision as closely to the 
skull as possible, and the skull is then removed from 
the neck by means of the knife and hatchet or axe. 
Fold the loose neck-skin together as closely as possi- 
ble and cover to prevent fly-blows. The carcass is 
then placed on its back (if on the ground) and a slit 
made up the middle of belly and breast and then 
continued downwards to the end of the tail, care 
being taken not to rupture the paunch, which would 
result in nastiness and stench. Lateral incisions 
should then be made beginning at the central cut and 
extending down each leg to the hoof, which may be 
left on if desired, in fact must be if the whole animal 
is to be mounted or the skin preserved in a musexim. 
In such a case, of course, the head must not be severed 
from the body, and all the leg-bones must be kept. 
The skin and the as yet unskinned head are usually 

Deer-Hunting 357 

taken to camp, where the head is prepared at leisure. 
This is done as follows : Make a cut through the skin 
along the cervical vertebrae to a point on a line 
between the antlers; then cut across this line to the 
antlers on each side and round each antler, keeping 
close to the base. (Another method is to stop the top 
cut between the ears and then make a cut from there 
diagonally to and round each antler, as for moose. 
(See Figure 68.) Skin to the ears, which are cut off 
close to the skull. "Turn the skin wrong-side-out 
over the head and proceed until you come to the eyes. 
Now work slowly with the knife, keeping close to the 
edge of the bony orbit, until you can see, through a 
thin membrane under your knife-edge, the dark por- 
tion of the eye. You may now cut fearlessly through 
this membrane and expose the eyeball. . . . Skin 
down to the edge of the nose, cut through the cartilage 
close to the bone, and cut down to where the upper 
lip joins the gum. Cut both lips away from the 
skull close to the bone all the way around the mouth, 
except directly in front of the incisors.** (Smithsonian 
instructions, by Wm. T. Homaday.) The skull should 
now be scraped, removing all flesh and soft cartilage, 
and the brain taken out through the vertebral open- 
ing. The skull and lower jaw may then be dried and 
tied together for the taxidermist. In skinning the 
body use your fist or hand to stretch the part under 
operation, and be sure not to cut through the skin. 
Always skin when the body is warm, or the work 
will be doubled. 

As soon as possible after being taken off the skin 
of the head (and body too if to be preserved) should 
be thoroughly rubbed with salt (fine is better than 

358 The Way of the Woods 

coarse) , a quantity of which should be in every hunting 
camp for this express purpose. Roll up the skin and let 
Preserving it lie over night. Rub in more salt in the 
Skins morning and dry out without the aid of sun 

or fire. The best way is to hang up high in the shade. 
Keep from the wet. All skins to be mounted should 
be in the taxidermist's hands as soon as possible. 

The National Museum authorities recommend 
immersing skins in a solution of salt and alum (pro- 
For Muser portion: to i gallon water, i pint alum 
urns and i quart salt) brought to a boil and 

cooled to milk-warmth. This is practically impos- 
sible in the woods, unless the expedition has been 
fitted out for museum purposes, and for ordinary 
mounting is unnecessary. 

The first thing to do in cutting up the carcass is 

to free the body from all the internal organs. Cut free 

„ ^ - . the diaphragm from both sides and roll 
Butchenng , . ... .,,.., 

out the viscera, aidmg with the knife 

where necessary. The sternum is then cut through 

with the axe and the chest organs pulled out with the 

hands, the knife aiding. The pelvis is then divided 

with the axe, the four quarters removed, and the 

meat is ready for transportation. 

The classic authority on deer-hunting is The 
Still-hunter y by Theodore S. Van Dyke, which should 
Biblio- be the first book bought by the novice, 
graphy and which will be found to contain about 
all that has been written on the subject before or 
since its publication, and has been called by a com- 
petent English writer **the best book ever written 
by an American.'' There is no end to the other books 


Deer-Hunting 359 


on deer-hunting, but the reader may begin additions 
7 to his library with The Deer Family, by T. Roosevelt, 
. T. S. Van Dyke, and others. An excellent descriptive 



article on deer is that by E. Thompson Seton in 
Scribner*s Magazine for September, 1906. 

For large animal, measure: 

Height at shoulder, from middle (not point) of 
hoof, holding leg as if it were supporting g - 

body,to top of shoulder (skin, not hair) in 
a straight line. 

Length of Head and Body from root of tail to end 
of nose; tail from base to end of vertebrae. 

Girth directly behind forelegs. 

Depth of Body, from top of shoulders in a straight 
(not curved) line to lowest point of breast directly 
behind forelegs. 

Circumference of neck half way between ears and 
shoulders, close to skin. 

Length on Outer Curve, starting tape at base of 
horn (lowest point) and following curves Antlers 
to the tip. 

Greatest spread from outside to outside where the 
antlers spread widest. 

Distance between two tips farthest apart. 

Circumference at base of antler round largest 

Width of Palmation at widest part. A point must 
be long enough to hang something on. 

Weight must be stated as either with entire skull 
or only skull-piece. 

(The above rules are paraphrased from Homaday's 
American Natural History.) 



This American cousin of the north-European 
reindeer has a range extending from Maine and New- 
foundland northward to Hudson Bay and then 
generally north-westward to the Pacific, where it is 
found from British Columbia northward into Alaska. 
There are two general varieties, the Woodland 
(Rangifer caribou) and the Barren-Ground or Artie 
{Rangifer arcticus), these names describing their 
habitats; both are divided into several subspecies 
about which the experts are yet quarrelling. The 
woodland animal is somewhat heavier, weighing 
from 250 to 400 pounds. Its fine large antlers are 
shorter in the main beam than those of the barren- 
ground species, but are more palmated, and, as Mr. 
Homaday remarks, have **a treetop appearance," 
those of the barren-ground caribou being slimmer 
and having an ** arm-chair appearance." The wood- 
land kind is warier than the other, but both are 
dull beasts compared with moose or deer. The New- 
foundland species (R, terraenovae) is much lighter in 
colour than the continental woodland caribou. A 
good- sized caribou stands about four feet high at the 
shoulders. The general colour is dark grey with 
white under-parts, changing to whitish in winter; 
some of the Western varieties have blackish heads. 


Caribou-Hunting 361 

The hoofs are very large and loosely jointed, so that 
they spread and form veritable snowshoes, enabling 
the caribou to travel easily in snow that would render 
other deer quite helpless. These hoofs clack as the 
animal moves about. The caribou mates in the 
early autumn, at which season it is lawful to kill it 
— a. very unwise privilege, which should be legally 
withdrawn, as in the case of all other CervidcB. 

^ Incredible tales are told of the tameness of caribou, 
^ and, after reading many of the stories of Selous and 
jg other experienced caribou-hunters, those of Methods of 
jj us who have done little or none of it wonder Hunting 
J, what pleasure a sportsman can take in such a chase. 
As Mr. Elliot, in The Deer Family, aptly says, after 
describing the positions taken up in still-hunting, 
** pursuit (if it can be so called) of this deer at such 
times and in such places cannot be considered either 
L a pleasure or within the true meaning of sportsman- 
ship. If the caribou should wander that way, 
a point-blank shot at a few paces is af- 
forded, requiring about as much skill to bring down 
the quarry as it would to shoot a cow in a barnyard.'* 
Mr. Selous gives instances of caribou passing within 
a few feet of him and looking straight at him without 
taking alarm. One legal but disgraceful manner of 
hunting them in Newfoundland is to take advantage 
of their annual migration from the northern to the 
southern part of the island, which, since the railway 
traverses the whole colony from east to west, must 
cross the rails. The huntsmen therefore post them- 
selves near any of the stations in the caribou sections, 
make themselves comfortable, and shoot down what- 
ever animals happen to come that way. The more 

362 The Way of the Woods 

sportsmanlike method is stalking. Man and guide 
go out upon the barrens, scan the territory far and 
near with a powerful glass, and, when a herd has been 
discovered, approach it near enough to pick out 
any stag that appears to have antlers worth having. 
The stag is then regularly stalked until the stalker 
is within range, taking advantage of any kind of 
cover offered, and, of course, being careful to advance 
against or across the wind. 

The outfit for caribou-hunting need not differ much 
from that used for other deer. Mr. Selous uses small- 
bore rifles, but he is evidently an extra-good shot. 

Those intending to shoot caribou, whether in 
Newfoundland or the North-west, should unfailingly 
Biblio- possess Mr. Selous's late book, Hunting 
graphy Trips in North America, Other good works 
on the subject are Mr. Elliot's chapter in The Deer 
Family, contained in the American Sportsman's 
Library, and Mr. Seton's article in Scribner's Maga- 
zine for April, 1906. 





^ Since the animals named in this chapter are not 

^ found in the north-eastern portion of the continent 

within the confines of what is usually called the 

north woods, the following brief notices of them, 

^ together with references to the best books treating 

* of them, will be sufficient for the purposes of this 

* manual. 


The Wapiti, or Round-homed Elk {Cervus cana- 
densis) is unquestionably the largest round-homed 
deer in the world, as well as the most stately of all 
the deer family. Says Theodore Roosevelt {The 
Deer Family) : ** A full-grown bull is as big as a steer. 
The antlers are the most magnificent trophy yielded 
by any game animal of America, save the giant 
Alaskan moose. When full-grown they are normally 
of twelve tines; . . . Antlers over fifty inches in 
length are large; if over sixty, they are gigantic,*' 
(The record is 67^.) Though not so long since native 
to the whole northern part of the United States from 
the Pacific to the Appalachian mountain system, and 
lingering in Pennsylvania as late as the middle of the 


364 The Way of the Woods 

nineteenth century, the elk has decreased in numbers 
nearly as fast as the now almost extinct bison; and 
its range is at present restricted to Colorado, Wyo- 
ming, Idaho, Montana, Alberta, and portions of North 
Dakota, Minnesota, and Manitoba. On the Pacific 
coast a separate variety exists. At present the elk 
** reaches its highest physical development on the 
backbone of the continent, between north-western 
Wyoming and southern Colorado." (Homaday.) 
The weight of a large bull elk is about 700 pounds. 
The height at the shoulders is about 56 i inches, and 
the length of head, body, and tail about 86 i inches. 
Mr. Homaday gives a convenient rule for estimating 
the weight of large members of the deer tribe that 
cannot be placed on the scales. It is to ascertain 
the dressed weight in pounds, add to it five ciphers, 
and divide by 78,612. The result will -be the live 
weight of the animal. Elk-hunting to-day means an 
elaborate pack-outfit and is very expensive. Neither 
is the sport generally to be compared with the chase 
of most other big game, on account of its habit of 
herding and the fits of stupid panic that are apt to 
affect even whole herds, during which they seem 
unable to escape and can be shot down like tame 
sheep. This is, of course, by no means always the 
case. Mr. Roosevelt considers the venison of the 
wapiti to be the best of all wild game. 

The Deer Family ^ by T. Roosevelt, in the American 
Sportsman's Library; Hunting, in Scribner's Out of 
Biblio- Door Library; The Big Game of North 
graphy America, edited by G. O. Shields. 

In regard to packing and pack-trains the reader 
should consult Camp and Trail, by S. E. White. 

Big Game of the North- West 365 


The Prong-horn Antelope (Antilocapra americana) 
is found on the Pacific slope and along the Rocky 
Mountain regions from Mexico to Assiniboia. In 
the northern United States it is found mostly in 
Montana and Wyoming. No better guide to the 
sport of stalking antelope can be had than is con- 
tained in Mr. Roosevelt's The Deer Family, while 
E. Thompson Seton has described the animal very 
thoroughly in Scribner*s Magazine for July, 1906. 





There are six varieties of Mountain Sheep in Amer- 
ica, inhabiting nearly the whole Rocky Mountain 
system from Mexico to and including Alaska, an5 
California, the longest known and most celebrated 
being the Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis). Presi- 
dent Roosevelt considers the chase of the Bighorn 
**the manliest of all our sports,** because it **means 
heart-breaking fatigue for any but the strongest and 
hardiest,*' for it must be sought in its mountain 
fastnesses, where it lives and grows fat even in 
winter, scorning even then to follow the elk and other 
animals to lower altitudes. The general colour of the 
bighorn *4s grey-brown, with a large white or cream- 
yellow patch on the hind quarters, completely sur- 
rounding the tail. ... A large ram . . . stood 40 
inches high at the shoulders, was 58 inches in length 
from end of nose to root of tail; its tail was 3 inches 
long, and its weight was about 300 pounds.*' (Hom- 
aday.) The horns are massive and curved, the largest 
known measurements being 18^ inches in circum- 
ference, and 52^ inches in length on the curve. 

366 The Way of the Woods 

It will be seen by Mr. Roosevelt's hint that none 
but the soundest of limb and lung should attempt 
the hunt of the bighorn. A .30-caliber rifle is big 
enough and a binocular is a necessity. 

Consult G. O. Shields's paper in The Big Game 
of North America. 


The chase of this animal (Ore amnos tnontanus) 
closely resembles that of the Mountain Sheep. No 
one should start on an expedition after this animal 
without first reading Mr. W. T. Homaday's Camp- 
Fires in the Canadian Rockies, as he is par excellence 
the authority on the subject. The Big Game of North 
America may also be consulted with profit. 


The famous Grizzly (Ursus horribilis), fiercest of 
all the bear family, is now, according to Mr. Homa- 
day, a rare animal in the United States except in the 
Yellowstone Park and the Clearwater Mountains of 
Idaho, *'and so difficult to find that it is almost 
useless to seek it this side of» British Columbia." 
Thence northwards into Alaska he still rules the 
wilderness, all other animals giving him a wide berth. 

His name comes from the silvery grey colour with 
which his brown coat is tipped, which has also earned 
him the more popular cognomen ** silver-tip.*' The 
size and weight of most bears are exaggerated, 
and a big one will hardly weigh over 800 pounds, 
though heavier individuals have been killed, 11 50 
pounds being the limit. 

The grizzly has always enjoyed a huge reputation 

Big Game of the North- West 367 

for aggressiveness, which, in view of the assured 
facts that he can kill a steer and even attacks the 
moose, seems fairly well established. Towards man, 
however, his conduct has suffered a change since the 
introduction of the high-power repeating rifle, against 
which he has little show for his life. Unless cornered 
he will always take the back track from a man. A 
.45 calibre or an 1895 .405 is the best medicine for 
him. The sport is dangerous enough, however, as 
OldEphraim is the most tenacious of life of all animals 
on this continent, and will ** absorb" a lot of lead 
without flinching. 

Read Roosevelt's The Wilderness Hunter; The 
Big Game of North America; Hornaday's Camp^ 
Fires in the Canadian Rockies; vol. i. Biblio- 

of C. Phillipps-Wolley*s Big Game Shooting, graphy 
in the Badminton Library. 


The Cougar or Puma (Felis concolor), also called 
Mountain -lion, Panther, Painter, Indian Devil, etc., 
was once common in northern New England, New 
York, and the Maritime Provinces, but has receded 
before the march of civilisation, and is now found only 
in the great mountain ranges of the West, in Wyoming 
and Montana, Florida, British Columbia, and very 
rarely in the Adirondacks. In spite of the hair- 
raising tales with which the old Maine pioneers loved 
to thrill their youthful hearers (and many a ** creep" 
have I taken to bed with me on account of them!) 
cougars will nearly always run even from a small 
dog, and the method of hunting them is to chase and 
tree them by means of dogs, and then to drop them 

368 The Way of the Woods 

from their perch with a small-calibre btillet. It is 
the best climber of the cat family, which accounts for 
its predilection to **take to the tall timber" when 
chased. Eight feet is about the limit of length of a 
cougar's body and tail, and a big one might weigh 
225 pounds. Its colour is brownish grey. 

President Roosevelt's The Wilderness Hunter will 
make the reader better acquainted with this big 
cat, which is the only long-tailed specimen of its 
family occurring north of the Mexican border-regions. 

G. B. Grinnell's American Big Game in its Haunts 
may be recommended to those interested in any kind 
General of large American game. Just out is 
Biblio- Bison, Musk-ox, Sheep and Goat Family, in 
graphy the American Sportsman's Library. The 
several articles by Mr. E. T. Seton mentioned in this 
chapter will shortly appear in book form (title not 
yet chosen), and shotdd form a valuable work. 



Nobody goes into the north woods camping with 
the especial purpose of bird-shooting according to 
the methods of the sporting guild. Nevertheless 
there are many who frequent hostelries on the out- 
skirts of the wilderness, where these, as well as native 
methods, may be employed; for which reason it seems 
proper to include in this manual a short account of 
the game birds likely to be met with in our chosen 
territory, with some hints as to equipment. 

As we take anjrthing that comes to us, an all- 
round gun is what is wanted, and that is a 12-gauge, 
30-inch-barrel, hammerless ejector, costing as much 
as you can afford. If you are sure of seeing nothing 
larger than grouse, 28-inch barrels will be long 
enough. I have even shot ducks, and many of them, 
with a light 2 6-inch -barrel gun, sweet to carry and 
handle. Have a case for it, and a jointed cleaning- 
rod and good oil. In regard to shooting consult 
the chapter on Sporting Firearms. 

The north woods camper will hardly ever take 
a dog with him, unless going to a place where there 
is good shooting in fairly open country. If he does, 
he has his choice between a setter and a pointer, both ■ 
grand dogs, with perfect noses for pointing their game. 
For the north country I prefer a setter, for, while the 
24 369 

370 The Way of the Woods 

pointer stands hot weather a little better and has no 
shaggy coat to catch the burs, hot weather does not 
bother us much in the north, and the setter's thick 
coat protects him from the cruel wilderness thorns 
and snags that hurt the pointer grievously. Which- 
ever breed is chosen, be sure of one thing — that the 
dog is not a wide ranger; or you will be constantly 
losing him in the brush, with the annoying feeling 
that things are happening and you are not *4n it.*' 
The dog should wear a bell on his collar to make 
known his whereabouts at all times, and he should 
be trained to obey his master's whistle and voice. 
Concerning dogs, consult The Sporting Dog, in the 
American Sportsman's Library, and Mr. S. T. Ham- 
mond's Training vs. Breaking. 


This magnificent grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is the 
game bird of the north woods, with beautifully 
marked brown, black, and grey plumage, the dis- 
tinctive features being the broad black band across 
the tail and the black rufi round the neck, which is 
elevated when the bird struts or ** drums." This 
sound is a very characteristic one and is made by the 
bird's wings beating the air and not, as formerly 
thought, a hollow log. Why the bird drums is un- 
certain ; it is very likely for the purpose of generally 
** showing his independence" and posing for his mate. 
It is certain that the drumming is not confined to 
the mating season nor to any time of day, for as I 
•write these lines, at half past ten o'clock of an October 
evening, I can hear an old cock drumming from time 
to time across the bay from my cabin. The ruffed 

Game Birds 


grouse, or ''partridge,'* as it is universally called in 
New England and Canada (sometimes "birch- 
partridge," to distinguish it from the **spruce- 
partridge" or Canada grouse), is non-migratory, and 
lays about a dozen eggs in a nest on the ground in the 
spring. It lives in thick timber, often venturing into 
woodland roads and old ** slashings" (where the tim- 
ber has been cut off), but almost never into the fields. 
In the early morning it may be seen in the trees, 
J where it usually roosts; later it feeds on the 
i ground, often taking to the trees when startled. 
J In dry weather it may often be found in swamps 
I and other moist places, while in wet weather it seems 
to keep rather to the high grotmd. It is always a 
question just where to seek it. The local authorities 
should be consulted. Meanwhile the forest tourist 
will mostly run upon it in the old logging-roads. 

There are three reasons why the ruffed grouse 
is the hardest bird we have to kill on the wing. In 
the first place it gets up with a tremendous commotion 
and goes at a furious pace; secondly, it never loses 
an instant's time in putting a tree or other cover 
between itself and its enemy; and, thirdly, more than 
half the time it will not stand, but will run off some- 
times twenty or thirty yards before stopping. This 
last characteristic is particularly annoying when 
shooting over dogs, which are often entirely non- 
plussed at such conduct; in fact dogs are frequently 
useless in heavy cover. A cocker spaniel, which 
flushes the birds and barks as they rise, is sometimes 
preferred. To me shooting the ruffed grouse is the 
acme of American birding, for the reason that it 
represents the exact antithesis of European sport 
over dogs or even in the drives, though the shots 

3 72 The Way of the Woods 

themselves are often very difficult during the latter. 
A half-dozen birds flushed from cover and shot fairly 
on the wing is a big bag in the north woods, and it is 
likely that not more than two of them will be what 
may be called easy shots. It has to be mighty quick, 
sometimes snap work. One of the most fascinating 
forms of shooting is still-hunting the ** partridge" 
without a dog, though it is very tiresome if you hunt 
over birdless territory. The row the bird makes 
when it gets up suddenly is most disconcerting, and 
you have to cover it in a jifly, or all is over. If you 
fire and miss it may fly clean out of the county, but 
if merely flushed it may be found again if followed 
up without delay. No. 8 or 7 shot may be used; the 
latter is better when the birds are strong. 

Without doubt most grouse shot by camping 
parties are slaughtered on the ground or in trees. With 
this method no fault can be found so long as it is not 
called sport, but solely providing for the pot. The 
man who deliberately gives up all hope of broiled 
grouse in the woods merely because of the traditions 
of his open-country, sporting-club past, may be a 
moral hero, but whether he is wise or not is a question. 

One form of ground and tree shooting is admitted 
by many to possess at least the elements of sports- 
manship, namely, using a .22-calibre rifle. 


This bird {Dendragapus canadensis) y usually called 
"spruce-partridge" from the fact that it spoils the 
flavour of its flesh by a diet of conifer buds, is darker 
than its ruflfed cousin, black being the grotmd tint of 
its plumage, picked out with white. A brilliant red 

Game Birds 


fit ring neariy encircles its eye. Another name is often 

t given it, namely, '* fool-hen, " on account of its ex- 

i) traordinary indifference to danger. The curiosity of 

li these birds seems to get the better of their discretion. 

lii Last summer I reached up and captured one in a trout 

t landing-net. There are two good reasons for letting 

f them alone. First, they are bad eating; and, sec- 

t ondly, the laws of most provinces protect them. 


? This is a ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) found mostly, 

* so far as our tourists are concerned, in Newfoundland. 

^ It is smaller than the other grouse, and is mottled 

'^ grey and brown in sunmier and white in winter. 
Where not much pursued it is very tame, but affords 

^ good sport in the more hunted regions. 


' The partridge, ** Bob-white" (Colinus virginianus) 

or, in New England parlance, the ** quail,'* is as good 

\ as non-existent in the north woods, though found 
along its southern line. 



Of the numerous shore-birds, so called, that fine, 

delicious and mysterious specimen the woodcock 

(Philohela minor) is the only one with which we shall 

be likely to have much to do. It lives in moist regions, 

J where it bores into the soft soil with its long bill for 

I worms and grubs. Its big eyes and long legs and bill 

J are familiar to all sportsmen, but it is curious that 

I many country people who have seen it flit by all their 

, lives are at a loss to name it when laid before them. 

3 74 The Way of the Woods 

Only last autumn a friend of mine got into a perfect 
woodcock paradise, but when he called at a neigh- 
bouring farmhouse to get a drink of milk, the fanner, 
an old settler, answered, upon being asked if there 
were woodcock near by **0h, yes, lots of *em in the 
orchard,* ' meaning woodpeckers. When he was shown 
the bag, shot mostly within a mile of his house, he said 
he 'd **never seen them birds before." Mr. Htinting- 
ton tells of a similar experience in Our Feathered 
Game, It is characteristic of Philohela's mysterious 
ways. Small chance of his being potted on the ground. 
You will get him only if you go out after him, and with 
a dog. He will be found in pretty close cover and you 
have to shoot quickly. No. 9 shot is right, or No. 8 
towards the end of the season. 

An occasional snipe may be seen in the north woods, 
as well as plovers and especially sandpipers, but the 
camper will not go far out of his way for these, as they 
are not in sufficient abundance. Shore-birds are, 
generally speaking, more easily found in settled 
districts along the sea. 


The tourist and big game hunter will often get a 
shot at a duck by concealing himself towards evening 
in a built or improvised *' blind" on the shore of some 
lake, pond, or cove frequented by the birds. In some 
districts, not really in the wilderness, duck-hunting 
from proper blinds is practised. A dozen or more 
decoys of the breeds expected are distributed in 
front of the blinds or sink-boats, and some kind of 
a retriever, usually a more or less pure-bred spaniel, 
is an important ally. The black duck (Anas obscura) 

Game Birds 375 

of the north country is perhaps the wariest of his tribe, 
and tough too (until well cooked), for which reason 
the natives often use No. 2 shot, though No. 4 is the 
usual duck size. Farther west the delicious mallard 
can be had in great ntimbers, as well as many other 
^ varieties. 


r-: It is a gala day when chance brings the camper face 

,Ti to gun with a fat Canada goose (Branta canadensis), 

i and he wants No. BB shot in his cartridges. It is in 

i the far north that geese are mostly met with, except 

- in the west. 

There are legions of good books on game-bird 
^ shooting. About as good .as any is Our Feathered 

5 Gamey by D. W. Huntington, which has Biblio- 

/ the merit of being very comprehensive graphy 

* and up-to-date (1904) Other fine volumes are The 

J Water-fowl Family, in the American Sportsman's 

Library; Upland Game Birds in the same library. 



It is taken for granted that my readers will not se- 
riously take up the profession of trapping, but perhaps 
seek to increase the delights of forest life by setting 
a few traps while after moose or other late autumn 
game. For these the hints here given will suflSce, 
while those who desire to go deeper into the art of 
trapping will do well to consult some of the author- 
ities mentioned at the close of this chapter. For 
that matter, a few good books on trapping are never 
amiss in the sportsman's library. 

Among the trapper's game may be mentioned such 
valuable fur-bearing animals as the otter, marten, 
p , mink, and fisher, as well as the black bear, 

the lynx, wildcat, raccoon, fox, skunk, 
and muskrat. The very valuable beaver is properly 
protected in most of the territory included in the 
north woods, though in some districts an open season 
is soon to be allowed. Snaring game-birds is every- 
where prohibited. Otter, wildcat, muskrat, and mink 
are found throughout the north, while the marten and 
fisher are less universal. The wolverine is not much 
valued for its fur, but it is a pubUc benefit to destroy 
it, on account of its predatory habits. The little 
weasel, . which becomes the beautiful and popular 


Trapping 377 

ermine in winter, is also legitimate game, though 
its small size makes it hardly worth while, unless 
very abtmdant. Otter and foxes are not generally 

Fur-bearing animals, owing to persistent trapping, 
largely by unscientific, short-sighted methods, are 
constantly growing rarer, with the result 
that their pelts steadily increase in value. ^^ 

As a general rule the colder the season the better the 
fur, winter skins conmianding the highest prices. 
The Indian rule says, **When leaves fall fur good,'* 
but prime condition hardly comes before the snow 
falls freely. Canada and the portions of the States 
on the Canadian border naturally furnish the best fur. 
Aside from the black (silver) and blue foxes, which 
are mostly captured in the far north, the most valu- 
able fur of the north woods is that of the otter, the 
marten, the mink, the fisher, and the beaver. Other 
valuable pelts are those of the cougar, the Canada 
lynx, and the black bear when in prime condition. 
A great deal of money is made by trapping the lesser 
fur-bearers, such as the skunk, the raccoon, the 
common foxes, the weasel, the wildcat, and above all 
the lowly muskrat, numbers making good the lack 
of quality. Prices obtained by trappers themselves 
from the dealers may be gathered from the following 
list, which were current last winter in a large Eastern 
city: Otter $22, marten $20, beaver $10, mink $8, 
fisher $8, lynx $7, timber wolf $4.50, wolverine $6, 
red fox $3.50, skunk $2.50, wildcat $1.25, ermine $1, 
muskrat $ .20. These prices are rather high. 

A prime, large grizzly bear skin brings $25 and that 
of a black bear in perfect condition $20. It must. 

3 78 The Way of the Woods 

however, be borne in mind that the above prices were 
paid only for the very best quality and largest size 
of skins captured in the dead of winter in Canada 
and the most northern United States. Shotdd a 
skin be trapped farther south, or be a trifle smaller, 
or not absolutely prime in quality, or, finally, have 
shot-holes in it, its market value sinks alarmingly, 
so that there are three to five prices for the skins of 
the same species of animal. In selling it is best to 
send one's pelts either to a well-known fur-dealing 
firm or confide them to the local dealer, who is 
likely to give a fair price and save you much trouble. 
Of course if you can take the furs yourself to the city 
and wait for an opportunity, you may get better prices. 

The traps used for fur-bearing animals by the 
primitive inhabitants of our forests, who were un- 
Varieties acquainted with wire and steel, were almost 
of Traps exclusively such as resulted in the imme- 
diate death of the victim, and thus humane in char- 
acter. It was reserved for ** civilized" man to invent 
the steel-trap, which often tortures its victim until 
death ensues after long agony. It is, however, so 
much more certain and more easily set than the 
**deadfair* of the Indians, that utility has once 
more triumphed over humanity, and the steel-trap 
is universally employed by systematic and successful 
trappers. Nevertheless the deadfall, when well con- 
structed and set, is most useful ; in my own opinion 
nearly as good as the steel-trap, though taking longer 
to construct and having the great disadvantage of 
not being transportable. On the other hand it is 
constructed from materials found on the spot, with 
no other tools than knife and hatchet. 

Trapping 379 

Deadfalls are of many varieties, the salient feature 
of all being a weight supported by a prop, which is 
displaced by the victim as it seeks to pass Deadfalls 
through the door of the trap, or (most often 
the case) disturbs the bait on the end of the trigger 
within. Jhe weight is almost invariably a log or 
pole (according to the size of the trap) across which 
are laid other logs and stones. This weighted log, 
falls between two pairs of stakes driven into the ground 
on each side of the opening, which is made just wide 
enough to admit the victim. On the ground between 
the stakes is a smooth log upon which the weighted log, 
or ** killer,** falls. The prop (for mink-trapping about 
six or seven inches long and not over } of an inch in 
diameter) is flat on top, to receive the killer, but cut 
thinner at the bottom, which is left a long and narrow 
rectangle or else a blunt point. This rests upon the 
end of the ten-inch, slender trigger, which is flattened 
at one end, so as to rest steadily between the prop 
and the under entrance-log at one side of the entrance. 
The trigger extends inside to the back of the pen, 
the free end being baited. It is evident that when 
this baited end is moved the delicately balanced prop 
is displaced and the killer-log falls upon the victim's 
back. The pen is made of sticks driven into the 
ground, or rocks or other material unartificial in 
appearance but strong enough to prevent the animal 
breaking through instead of going in at the entrance. 
It is covered with pieces of bark, sticks, and what 
not, and is just large enough for the weight to strike 
the victim in the back when it seizes the bait. 

In the case of a bear-trap, in which the weighted 
log is too heavy to set in this manner, this log is 
suspended by wire or withes to one end of a stout 

380 The Way of the Woods 

stake about four feet long which rests on an upper, 
fixed log and extends over the whole pen-opening 
to the back, where another wire or withe connects 
it with the bait in such a way that, when the bait 
is disturbed, the withe is pulled off the inner end of 
the stake, which flies up, of course releasing the 
weighted log over the entrance. 

The triggers described above are as good as any 
others, if not rather better, though many varieties 
are in use. 

There are three kinds of metal traps: those set 
flat on the ground or in the water, those set upright, 
g - . and those set on trees. Of the first class, 

comprising nine tenths of all metal traps 
used, the Newhouse traps are the most durable and 
best (Oneida Community, Kenwood, N. Y.). The 
second class is represented by the Stop-thief wire trap, 
which is set upright over the hole of an animal, which 
springs it by striking the trigger in passing. It has 
the advantage of nearly always killing at once. The 
Tree-trap (for marten, raccoon, opossum, squirrel, 
etc.) is placed on tree-trunks or limbs. It strikes 
the animal's neck when the bait is disturbed and kills 
instantly. Both the two latter kinds are made by 
the Animal Trap Company, Abingdon, 111. The 
catalogues of all these firms should be sent for, though 
the traps can be purchased in almost any large town. 
The Newhouse traps are graded according to size, 
but are strong enough to hold animals somewhat 
larger than those given for the stated sizes. Thus 
No. I, though advertised to trap muskrats and skunks, 
is quite strong enough for mink, and is used by 
trappers for that animal more than No. ij, the so- 

Trapping 381 

called mink size. No. i costs per dozen from $2.50 
to $3.00 according to the place of purchase. The single- 
spring No. 2i is strong enough for otter. Its price 
is from $8.25 to $9.90 per dozen. Stop-thief traps 
No. I (for squirrels and gophers) cost $1.05 per 
dozen of the makers, and No. 3, large enough for 
raccoon and skunk, $1.75 per dozen. The tree-trap 
for mink and marten costs $ .50, and that for raccoon 
$ .60 each. These prices include chains where used. 

It is well to have a so-cent box of **cold shut 
repair-links" of different sizes, with which Spare Links 
broken chains are easily made whole. 

New steel-traps should be well rubbed with tallow, 
lard, or some other grease containing no salt, to pre- 
vent too much rusting. Rust tends to Care of 
prevent the smooth working of the trap. Steel-traps 
and the odor of it to frighten game. When rusty — 
and a little rusting is unavoidable — ^the traps should 
be placed in kerosene oil for a day, more or less, and 
then rubbed and sandpapered or scraped. When put 
away for the summer tallow them well. Before using 
examine them for flaws in trap or chain. Look after 
the chain swivels particularly, as, if they refuse to 
turn, a strong animal will be likely to break the chain. 

Most trapping authorities warn us never to handle 
traps with the bare hands when setting them, but 
this rule is more honoured in the breach than in the 
keeping. If neglected it will be well either to smoke 
the traps or to smear them with **dope" (see below), 
in order to counteract the human scent. 

Artificial scents, or **dope," are extensively used 

382 The Way of the Woods 

to give the bait additional strength of odor. There 
are many of them, the commonest being made by 
hanging pieces of eel, trout, or other oily 
fish in bottles in the sun, the resultant 
fish-oil being particularly malodorous to the trapper, 
but quite the opposite to the fur-bearers. Other 
*' dopes" are made of annis, castoretun, assafoetida, 
fennel, cummin, musk, etc. The advertising pages 
of Hunter 'Trad^-Trap per will reveal the sources 
of many of these dopes, which may be purchased for 
trapping any animal. Trappers differ widely in their 
estimates of the value of the use of dope, many 
ignoring it entirely. It can certainly do no harm, 
and may be recommended to all but the most wary 
and careful, as it serves to counteract the human 
smell. A drop or two is put on the bait and more 
sprinkled about the trap. The soles of the shoes may 
be smeared with it, and a small bag filled with rags 
steeped in it may be dragged from several directions 
towards the trap, or from trap to trap as the trapper 
proceeds on his rounds. 

Besides light leaves, powdered rotten wood and 
bark, chaff, etc., used to cover the trap, a few feathers 
scattered about serve to attract the prowling mink and 
mask the iron. 

Although the ring of the trap-chain is generally 
firmly attached to a tree or root by driving the spike 
Spring- into it, it is often a good plan to use a 
pole spring-pole, especially in regions where 

smaller trapped animals are commonly stolen by wol- 
verines, fishers, and other trap-robbers. It is merely 
a stout sapling bent down and confined by a rough 
hook driven into the ground. The end of the chain 

Trapping 383 

is attached to the top of the bent sapling, which 
is placed under the hook in such a manner that it is 
quite easily released in the struggles of the trapped 
animal, which is then jerked up and suspended out 
of the way of marauders. 

Traps set in or very near the water should always 
be attached to sliding-poles, set slanting in the bottom, 
the chain-ring running loosely, so that, s«Ji-jg 1 
when the animal is caught and seeks the 
water as a means of escape, the ring slides down the 
pole, preventing the re-ascent of the animal, which 
speedily drowns. The pole is therefore a humane 
appliance. Light chains, stretched tight, are some- 
times used in place of poles, but are much more 
conspicuous, as well as an unnecessary weight to 
carry. Sliding-poles are used particularly in the 
trapping of aquatic animals, which will often gnaw 
off their imprisoned feet and escape, though this 
happens less often than is commonly believed. 

Trapping is an interesting and instructive art, 
because success in it requires a study of the habits 
of the animals trapped. The best trapper is the one 
who, in addition to this knowledge, is the most 
familiar with his territory. His observations extend 
throughout the year, and his eyes are as open in early 
spring, just at the close of the season. The Start- 
as at its beginning in autumn, for signs of ing-point 
game, since the cardinal point of trapping consists in 
finding out the exact haunts of the quarry. 

THE OTTER {Lutra canadensis) 

This largest member of the marten family (Mus- 

384 The Way of the Woods 

telidcB) is an amphibious fish-eater, a mighty, web- 
footed swimmer, in which capacity it is aided by a 
long, thick, pointed and flattened tail. Its broad, 
flat head and thick body together are about 25 to 27 
inches in length, its tail 15 or 16 inches, and its thick, 
fine, beautiful fur is dark brown. It lives in burrows 
under the banks of streams and lakes. Its young 
are generally two in number. The otter does not 
readily 3nter traps, and would be a most difficult 
animal to capture were it not for the fact that it is 
distinctly a creature of habit. Although a somewhat 
wide ranger, it commonly crosses islands and land- 
spits by regular, beaten paths that are easily recog- 
nisable, and in such paths, at the water's edge, the 
steel-traps, concealed by leaves, chaff, and light moss, 
are usually set. A curious habit of otters is that of 
sliding down slippery banks into the water, thotight 
to be of purely sportive nature, and traps are also 
set at the top and in the water at the bottom of these 
** slides." The trap, a No. 2 J, 3, or 3 i Newhouse, 
is attached, by means of the chain-ring, to the thick 
end of a stout, trimmed sapUng, from 10 to 15 feet 
long, by splitting and wedging that end. Trap and 
chain are covered up and all traces of man carefully 
removed, the path being at last plentifully dashed 
with water with a spruce branch. When the otter 
springs the trap the weight of the pole prevents his 
escape to any great distance, while its ability to drag 
it a little way renders it unlikely to gnaw off or pull 
out its foot. It is best to inspect otter-traps in canoes, 
in order to leave no telltale scent in case they are not 
sprung. Bait is not generally used in trapping otters, 
as they are not very partial to dead food, especially 
when stale, preferring to catch their own. Something 

Trapping 385 

ioft that will not freeze shotild be placed under the 
pan to keep it raised. 

In addition to the above ** land-sets'- there are 
water-sets " for otter, one being at the foot of a slide, 
in a couple of inches of water. Another ^ . . 
is to place the trap just on the bottom 
where the hind feet of the animal touch the ground 
as it lands at a slide of path. The sliding-pole (see 
Mink) is often used with water-sets, 


The Mink (Lutreola vison) is a small replica of its 
big cousin the otter, and rivals it in cunning while far 
surpassing it in ferocity, being incredibly bold when 
it attacks its prey, often ignoring even the presence of 
human beings, though very shy at all other times. Mr. 
Homaday tells me that he finds the greatest difficulty 
in defending the rare wildfowl of the Bronx Zoolog- 
ical Park from the ravages of minks. A very large 
mink will measure 20 inches from nose to root of tail, 
which is about 7 inches long. In colour it may 
be light or dark brown, the latter being the more 
valuable. Like all the Musielidce the mink breeds 
in the spring, bringing forth from four to six ** kittens ** 
at a litter. Except at the breeding season it is a 
great traveller, but seldom wanders far from the 
banks of streams and lakes, being a bold and expert 
swimmer. Its food consists of any birds and small 
animals, some much larger than itself, that it can 
capture, as well as fish, muskrats and trout being 
among its favourite dishes, for which reason the one 
or the other of these is preferably chosen to bait 

386 The Way of the Woods 

miT)k-traps. These are either the steel-trap (No. 
I or li) or the deadfall. If a steel -trap the bait is 
placed either at the farther end of a covered *'pen,** 
upon a spindle, so that the mink must step on the 
pan of the trap in order to reach it, or hung in such 
a manner that the hind legs will be caught when the 
animal rises to secure it. In place of the pen a cavity 
in a hollow stump is often used, having a more natural 
appearance. In fact the trapper always seeks the 
aid of natural features as far as possible. The bait 
should be well secured to the spindle, so that the 
mink will have some trouble in detaching it, as the 
trap may spring hard and allow its escape if the bait 
is too lightly attached. 

The mink runs along the banks, prying into every 
crevice, hole, and hollow log, and this habit gives the 
trapper his cue, as well as its way of visiting islands, 
especially those of miniature size, such as rocks and 
half-submerged logs. Among the various mink-sets 
with steel-traps may be mentioned the following: 
at the entrance to any hole along a stream, the bait 
being placed at the bottom and often scented; in a 
hollow log, the bait being placed each side of the trap, 
or on the inside if one end is stopped up ; on the mud 
or in shallow water tmder the bank washed out by the 
stream, the bait being suspended above, or, if the 
path is ver}'- narrow, without bait, a few drops of 
scent being sprinkled on each side; in the water 
directly under an airhole in the ice; in a snow- tunnel 
made by mink; in a tunnel made with flat stones. 
In fact traps may be set in any of the numerous places 
where mink are likely to nm, the observation of the 
trapper being the criterion. Deadfalls are generally 
set close to the bank, in the mink's line of march. 

Trapping 387 

Muskrat flesh is the best bait, with trout a close 
second choice, other good lures being birds, mice, 
rabbit flesh, sardines, and even red herring if nothing 
better is at hand. 


The Pine Marten (Mustela americana) is a first 
cousin of the mink and of about the same size, but 
much less ferocious in character, seldom kilUng more 
than it needs for food. It lives in hollow trees and 
burrows, in wooded districts, and its young are from 
three to five in number. Although far less valuable 
than its Russian cousin, the sable, its fur, ranging 
in colour from yellowish to the much-sought dark 
brown, is nevertheless one of the most beautiful be- 
longing to American animals. The marten is carnivo- 
rous and the traps for taking it are therefore baited 
with meat, birds* heads, fish, etc. They are set in or 
near trees, the most humane trap being the tree- 
trap, described above, which kills almost instantly. 


The Fisher (Musiela penanii,) or Pennant's Marten, 
is larger but much less valuable than the pine marten. 
It ranges widely but loves to live in trees, being a 
fearless and expert climber. It feeds on any kind 
of flesh procurable, from frogs to porcupines, and is 
a well-known bait-stealer. It measures nearly two 
feet from nose to root of tail and is built more power- 
ful and stocky than the mink or marten. The young 
are from two to four in number. The fur is a glossy 
black or brown. Traps for fisher should be provided 
with spring-poles, as this animal is very apt to gnaw 

*388 The Way of the Woods 

off its own leg and escape. Rabbit flesh forms a good 
bait. The No. 2 tree-trap or ij Newhouse steel-trap 
may be used. Deadfalls are often pulled to pieces 
by the fisher's powerful claws. A hollow log is a 
favourite place for setting, and **dope" is often 
dragged from trap to trap, as well as smeared over 
trap and bait. 


The Wolverine (Gulo luscus), Carcajou, or Glutton, 
is a savage, powerful and ugly animal of about the 
size of a bull terrier. Its ferocity and cunning, though 
not its appearance, show its membership in the 
marten family. It is not only the greatest pest of the 
trapper, breaking his traps and robbing him of his 
fur, but often tears down even his camps and caches 
and destroys his supplies, while at the same time 
it is wary and difficult to trap. The name given it by 
some Western Indian tribes, ** mountain devil," is 
richly deserved. In appearance it seems to be a kind 
of link between the marten and bear families, having 
teeth like the former, while being flat-footed and 
heavy-bodied like the bears. In colour it is brown 
with lighter bands. Poisoning with strychnine, a 
method best left to professionals, is said to be the best 
way of getting rid of the wolverine. Mr. Homaday 
has a most amusing account of the animal iu his 
Camp-fires in the Canadian Rockies, 


The Canada Lynx {Lynx canadensis) is a thick- 
furred, grey, large-footed, long-legged, and short- 
tailed animal of the cat family, standing about 18 

Trapping 389 

inches high at the shoulders, and weighing about 20 
pounds, though large ones may be heavier. The 
length of body and head is about 32 inches and of the 
tail s inches. Characteristic marks are its ** whiskers" 
and the stiff, black pencil-hairs with which its ears 
are tipped. Though more often shot, after treeing 
with dogs, than trapped, steel-traps baited with rabbit 
or bird flesh are used, as well as snares placed in the 
runways. (See below under Wildcat.) 


The Wildcat (Lynx rufus), (Bay L3mx, Red Lytix, 
or Bobcat) is a much commoner member of the 
felidw than its more northern cousin, being found 
all over the United States and Canada. It is about 
the same size as the lynx, but is a much handsomer 
animal, its coat being yellowish brown mottled with 
black. The quality of the fur, however, is inferior 
to that of the lynx. The wildcat, though very strong 
and active, is a cowardly beast and will never face 
either man or dog unless trapped or cornered, when 
it will often spring at its persecutor. It is so shy 
that many old woodsmen have passed their lives 
without seeing more than a half dozen except in traps 
and snares. It lives on all kinds of small game and is 
particularly fond of lambs, rabbits, and grouse, for 
which reason most States have placed a bounty on 
its capture. Like the mink, it will often kill more than 
it can eat, and in the Maritime Provinces (especially 
Nova Scotia), where a large variety, called Lynxgigas, 
has its home, I have known it to kill six full-grown 
sheep in a night, while its record for lambs is thirty-two 
in a week, exploits that would be credited only to the 

3 go The Way of the Woods 

panther if that animal still existed in the East. Like 
the lynx the bobcat is generally treed with dogs and 
shot, though in swampy country it will often run 
round and round the swamp, in which case the hunter 
takes his station near a track and shoots when the 
cat passes. It will often get into mink-traps, which 
are generally too weak to hold it. If steel-traps are 
used No. 2 and 2^ are good sizes. The bait may be 
rabbit flesh. The best way to catch cats is, however, 
to set snares in their paths, which are readily recog- 
nised by the tracks, dimg, etc. The snare is best 
made of brass rabbit-wire, four strands being twisted 
together and then doubled, making a cable of eight 
strands. It should be about two feet long, a loop 
being left at one end to form a noose, which should 
be eight inches in diameter. This is attached to a small 
evergreen tree and set in a part of the path where it 
narrows to about the width of the snare. Such a 
place may be made by the aid of rocks, brush, etc., 
the object being to insure the cat's passing through, 
for which reason brush should be heaped on each 
side of the path. The young evergreen is thrust into 
the ground on one side, and the noose adjusted so 
that its bottom is two or three inches above the 
ground. The cat in passing puts its stupid head 
through the noose, and its consequent struggles serve 
to tighten it to strangulation. If the tree were fixed 
the snare would be torn apart. No bait is needed. 
A good wildcat skin makes a beautiful rug, mounted 
with the head and claws; the skull should therefore 
always be preserved. 


Renard is found in several varieties in the regions 


Trapping 391 

most frequented by campers, but the red fox (Vulpes 
fulvus) is by far the commonest, being found all over 
the north-eastern part of our continent, wherever 
there are trees, and even in Alaska. Its persistence 
too is remarkable, for, in spite of the fact that every 
man's hand is against it, it seems to thrive and even 
to increase in numbers. It is about two feet long 
and thirteen inches in height. The fox is not a very- 
easy animal to trap, for his slyness is as well founded 
as it is traditional. Steel-traps are generally used 
(No. 2 or 2^), and these are set at the entrance of a 
den or in a path, and always covered with chaff, moss, 
earth, etc. Before being set the trap ought to be 
smeared with blood or **dope," or both, to eradicate 
all human scent. The bait (meat, fowls, etc.) is gen- 
erally cut up and scattered about the trap, none be- 
ing placed directly over the pan. A drag of ** doped " 
meat is often used to make paths of scent leading to 
the trap from different directions. In trapping foxes 
gloves shoiild be worn to handle traps, and it is a 
good plan to smear the soles of the boots with **dope.'* 
A place where fox-traps are set is called a **bed,** and 
often several traps are set in it, part of the bait being 
buried incompletely, so that the fox will dig up the 
bait and in doing so get his foot into the trap. 

The cross fox is merely a ** colour phase" of the 
red fox, having a dark cross on the shoulders and 
black legs and belly. 


The Muskrat (Fiber zibethicus) is not, as commonly 
believed, a small cousin of the beaver, but a real 
rat. It is about 21 inches in length, and its chief 

392 The Way of the Woods 

characteristic is its hairless tail. It is aquatic in its 
habits, inhabiting houses on the banks of streams 
and ponds, the entrances to which are below the 
surface of the water. Its chief enemy is the mink, 
which sometimes assails it in its very home. Its 
name is taken from its strong odour, which emanates 
from the musk-glands near the tail. Its skin, dark 
brown in colour, is probably the most used of any 
cheap fur in the world, principally for linings of coats, 
gloves, etc. It is easy to trap, all that is necessary- 
being to set the traps (No. i), unbaited but concealed 
by leaves, dead grass, etc., at the landing-places of the 
rats, in their paths, in the water at the entrances of 
their houses and other haunts. As there are often 
no trees or bushes large enough to hold the trap- 
chains, these are attached by their rings to stout 
sticks thrust deep into the marsh. As the rat nearly 
always dives into the water when caught, it is 
speedily drowned, the weight of the trap prevent- 
ing it from remaining at the surface long. This 
is necessary, as the muskrat will otherwise very 
often gnaw off its foot. A sliding-pole may be used, 
but is hardly essential. Small islands, even arti- 
ficial ones made by sods, are good sites for traps, 
as the rats frequently land on them when swimming. 
An old but often effecttial trap consists only of a 
barrel, weighted so that it sits deep in the water 
with its edge but a few inches above the surface. 
Pieces of apple, vegetables, flagroot, etc. are placed 
in the empty barrel. The rats readily jump in to 
get at the food but are unable to get out again. 
There are innumerable other contrivances and 
methods for trapping muskrats, but the steel-trap 
is the best. 

Trapping 393 


The Coon, short for Raccoon {Procycyn lotor), is a 
plantigrade remotely allied with the bear family. 
It feeds upon almost ai33rthing it can find, is more 
or less nocturnal in its habits, and hibernates like its 
big cousin. From four to six ** kittens*' are bom in 
spring. The coon, which is commoner in the south 
than with us, has a body about two feet long, a bushy 
black and yellow ringed tail, and a whimsical head 
from which two very bright eyes peep forth. The 
colour of its body is greyish, barred and streaked 
with darker shades. It loves to swim and will eat 
a frog as soon as a fat pullet, though it is a frequent 
visitor to the poultry-yard for the purpose of ** lift- 
ing" the latter dainty. Coons are trapped by setting 
concealed traps (No. ij) in their known paths, or in 
places frequented by them. Bait on sticks may be 
suspended over the traps. Fish is good bait, either 
fresh or salted and roasted, to give it a strong odour. 


The Ermine (Putorius erminea) is our common 
weasel in its beautiful winter dress, white with black- 
tipped tails. This coat is often yellowish in tint, a 
condition detracting from its value. On account of 
the small size of the ermine it is not much trapped, 
most of those taken being the victims of investigation 
of traps set for larger fur-bearers. It is the smallest 
of the marten family, being only about a foot long, 
but exhibits all the boldness of its big cousin the 
mink, preying upon rabbits, ducks, and chickens. 
It imitates the ferocity of the mink, too, in killing 
much more than it can devour. It is distinctly the 

394 The Way of the Woods 

sportsman's enemy. Small steel-traps (No. o) are best 
for ermine, which are very greedy and easily taken. 
The weasel in its brown dress has no market value. 


The Grizzly Bear is trapped for the bounty placed 
by several States on its head, as well as to rid the 
district of cattle-killing vermin, or, finally, for the 
sake of sport, a bad reason, however. Its pelt is 
inferior in quality to that of the black bear. ' The 
method of capture of both animals is similar, though 
the steel-trap used for the grizzly is larger than that 
for black, the Newhouse special grizzly trap, weighing 
rather less than fifty pounds, being that generally 
selected. There are two smaller sizes for trapping 
black bears. The method of setting a bear-trap is thus 
described in Hunter-Trader-Trapper by an old woods- 
man of Montana, and may stand for the average 
set with steel-traps: 

The entrance of the enclosure (pen) is narrowed by stout 
stakes driven in the ground, the last two driven slanting, so 
the bottom of the entrance is just the size of the jaws of the 
trap, and by slanting outward they accommodate the body 
of the animal. The bait is placed about four or five feet 
beyond the trap, which we set crossways in the gap, loose 
jaw out, well bedded down, so when the trap is covered with 
grass, moss, or other trash it is perfectly level, making a nice 
place for your game to step. Just inside of the trap we drive 
a dozen or more small stakes, letting them stick up six or 
eight inches. Your bear will not step on these pegs, but as 
close as possible to them, in searching for the bait; therefore 
you can calculate to a nicety where he will place his foot. 
We secure the chain to a clog four or five feet long and six or 
seven inches in diameter. 

This clog is usually of about 75 or 80 pounds in weight 

Trapping 395 

for a grizzly and half that for a black bear. The 
greatest care shotild be taken when setting bear-traps, 
in order to prevent accidents. More than one poor 
fellow has been caught by the forearms in the jaws 
of a bear-trap, the result of such an occurrence, in 
case the man is alone, being best left to the imagina- 
tion. Only his skeleton would remain to chronicle 
his fate. The Oneida Cummunity makes iron clamps 
for the purpose of setting large traps with safety, 
Nos. s and 6 being suitable for bear-traps. 

The pen for a steel-trap need not be so elaborate 
as that of a deadfall, but should insure the stepping 
on the pan of the trap by the animal. The pan may 
be supported by a light stick, strong enough to 
prevent the trap being sprung by a smaller animal 
than a bear. A strong bear will drag a trap for a half 
a mile or even farther, but his trail is easily followed ; 
whereas if he were able to get a straight pull on the 
chain, it would very likely part. Meat of ajiy kind may 
be used as bait; if smeared with honey or molas- 
ses it is more attractive. North woods hunters fre- 
quently take one or more bear-traps with them, 
which they bait with the offal of any moose or deer 

Deadfalls for bears are described above. 

The skunk is not so numerous in the north woods 
as farther south. The ** sport'* of trapping it may 
well be left to professionals. 

Readers who intend going in seriously for trap- 
ping are strongly recommended to subscribe to the 
Hunter-Trader'Trapper, sl monthly maga- Biblio- 
zine published at Columbus, O. ($1. per graphy 
year), a veritable storehouse of trapping lore, one 

396 The Way of the Woods 

of the most valuable feattires of which is the letters 
from well-known trappers in different parts of the 
United States and Canada. There is at present no 
up-to-date, authoritative book on trapping. Among 
good pamphlets may be mentioned as desirable to 
possess: The Neivhouse Trapper's Guide (Oneida, 
N. Y.); A. R. Harding s books: Deadfalls, Mink- 
Trapping, Fox-Trapping, and Steel Traps (Columbus, 
O.); Canadian Wilds, by Martin Htmter; Camp 
Life and the Tricks of Trapping, by Wm. H. Gibson 
(New York). The last-named book is elaborate but 
rather out of date. It contains good descriptions 
of snares, box-traps, etc. The North American 
Trapper (Oneida Community, $i. per year) is an 
excellent monthly. 



Though it is not necessary to admit that hunting 
and fishing, as indulged in by the humane and intel- 
ligent sportsman, are morally reprehensible, it never- 
theless remains true that year by year the world is 
growing less bloodthirsty, and for this reason the 
more prone to welcome the delights of what has come 
to be called "hunting with a camera," a sport that 
cannot be too much encouraged. While its character 
may be a trifle too idyllic for strenuous temperaments, 
there are many who assert that it may be made as 
exciting as the photographer wishes; and instances 
of the facing of a wild grizzly at shortest range armed 
only with a Graflex indicate that pluck may at 
times be as desirable a quality as if the camera were a 
Winchester .405, aye, and perhaps more so. And 
when it comes to the moral side of the comparison 
the hunter, if he is honest, will change the subject as 
rapidly as may be. 

It may be said at once that photography in the 
woods must be either the principal object of the 
outing or a mere adjunct. If the former it is evident 
that all preparations must be made with that object 
in view, and, very especially, the apparatus must 
receive the greatest attention. Taking for granted 
that my readers are more or less beginners, their 

. 307 

398 The Way of the Woods 

efforts having been confined to Kodak work, my 
advice to them, in case they wish to progress in the 
art, is to purchase a camera with a somewhat better 
lens than they have been using. As in other branches 
of sport, the best plan, in case one does not possess 
that invaluable friend who has expert knowledge of 
the subject, is to write for catalogues of the best firms, 
such as the Folmer & Schwing Company and the 
Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, N. Y., and to 
consult a reliable dealer. Those who desire to go in 
seriously for nature photography should purchase 
the best books on the subject, mentioned in the 
bibliography at the end of this chapter, which contain 
a mass of practical information on the subject. 

Woods photographers may be divided into three 
classes. The first comprises those who take along a 
camera for the purpose of bringing home 
pictorial souvenirs of the trip, camp- 
scenes, portraits of their companions, etc. The second 
is made up of those who place more importance on 
the artistic or scientific result of their efforts, and who 
therefore require a better, quicker-working lens. 
The third class consists of the experts who attempt 
such difficult feats as the photographing of an owl or 
a woodcock on the nest, or of wild-flowers at closest 
range, or, finally, of distant mountain-goats with a 
telephoto lens. 

For the members of the first class some kind of 

a Kodak will be sufficient. There are two kinds, 

those with the so-called "universal focus" 

("Buirs-Eye," "Brownie," etc.), and the 

folding Kodaks. The former, which are the cheaper 

ones, do not have to be adjusted to any particular 

Photography 399 

distance before the ** button is pressed,*' but are 
always in focus. The lenses are naturally not of the 
best, but when the light is good some very clear 
work can be done, quite capable of being enlarged 
to any size. The BuU's-Eye No. 2 or the Brownie 
No. 2A may be recommended. It is needless to say 
that these are used with film-rolls, which can be 
inserted by daylight. The folding Kodaks have much 
better lenses, are in a more convenient form for carry- 
ing, and may be had in the 4 x 5, 4J x 6 J, and 5x7 sizes. 
Of these three sizes I prefer the 4x5, the others being 
rather bulky. The ** Postal-card size," 3^x5^ is 
preferred by some. These cameras are provided 
with focussing scales, showing how far to pull out the 
lens. The regular lenses provided are sufficient for 
all slow work, but the Qying bird or even the tossed 
pancake will be but blurs. It is better to stretch a 
point and have the new camera fitted with a high- 
class lens, like the Bausch & Lomb Zeiss Tessar, the 
Cooke or the Goerz, costing (for a 4 x 5) in the neigh- 
bourhood of $40, with which the most difficult pictures 
may be taken. Nor is one so dependent upon brilliant 
light as with the cheaper lenses. The folding Kodaks 
are carried in a sole-leather case with straps for the 
shoulders, and are the most convenient of all to 
transport. A portrait attachment lens ($ .50) is very 
useful, allowing enlarged pictures of objects at near 
distances to be made. 

Booklets of instructions are furnished with Kodaks, 
and it is well to have one along and not to depart from 
its rules. In spite of the makers' boast that the 
film-rolls may be removed and renewed in broad 
daylight, it is better to take no chances, but to load 
and unload in as dim a light as one can see in. There 

400 The Way of the Woods 

should be some kind of a light but durable case to 
carry single rolls in while in the woods, but I know of 
none. If on an easy trip I generally take a small 
supply of black paper, in a piece of which I wrap the 
exposed film-roll, placing it then in the cardboard 
box from which the new roll is taken. The whole is 
then wrapped up in whatever material is handy and 
deposited in the knapsack away from the light. The 
date of exposure should be written on the box. One 
of the great drawbacks of woods photography is that 
the incident or scene which one is apt to desire to 
perpetuate more often than not takes place in a bad 
light, the result being underexposed and indistinct. 
Such a picture makes a bad impression in an album, 
though it may nevertheless form an important 
memory-hint and therefore have a value of its own. 
A practical and convenient method of carrying 

small folding cam- 
g (j ^g2gg= '^ ^ eras is shown in 

the two accompa- 
nying illustrations. 
Fig. 69. — Belt with camera strap. Fig. 69 represents 

an ordinary leather 
belt to which a strap with a buckle has been at- 
tached, which is run through jiw^» 


the loops at the back of the zz't lt:-v 

camera-case. Fig. 70 shows the 

manner in which the camera 

may be pushed round the belt 

to the point where it will be pio, 70.— Camera-ciBc 

least in the way. This method on strap. 

was described by a writer in 

Forest and Stream and has the endorsement of the 

editor of that journal. 

Photography 401 

Though scenes which require no very quick lens 
to take may form even a majority of the pictures 
secured on the ordinary tour, those that The Graflez 
are most interesting and will afterwards Camera 
be most valued are the snapshots of wild animals 
and birds; and the amateur will speedily discover 
that with cameras that require the lens to be fixed 
at a certain distance from the object it is a very 
difficult thing to get the focus just right, i. e, the object 
at its clearest. To do this a so-called ground-glass 
finder, which reflects the object as you point the lens 
at it, is necessary, as well as some kind of appliance 
by which the moving object can constantly be kept 
in focus. There are several cameras which do this, 
the best, according to the author of Nature and the 
Camera, being the Graflex, which he calls ** about all 
that can be wished for.'* There are several varieties 
of Graflex, but the not yet very expert amateur will 
be satisfied with the "Auto," with which the photo- 
graphs reproduced in this volume were mostly made. 
With this instrument in his hands the sportsman, 
looking into an aperture in the top, can distinctly see 
the movements of any animal or bird, while, by 
regulating the distance by a wheel operated in his 
right hand, the object is kept continuously in clear 
focus. The left hand then presses a knob whenever 
it is desired to take the picture. This sureness of 
having the object in perfect focus makes all the dif- 
ference in the world. The Graflex, like the Reflex, 
another excellent camera, is meant to be used with 
glass plates, but, though the expert ordinarily prefers 
them, it is evident that their bulkiness, liability to 
get broken, etc. render them less convenient than 
films, which, either in the roll form or the cut sheet 


402 The Way of the Woods 

(so-called ** film-packs*'), can be used as well as 
plates, and the results are about as .good. The Gra- 
fiex is provided with both a film-holder for rolls and 
a film-pack adapter ($7.50 and $$ extra respectively, 
in the 4x5 size). The rolls fof six exposures only, 
each) cost $ .45 apiece; the film-packs (twelve expos- 
ures) $ .90 each, both for the 4x5 size. Of good 
plates there are many makes, and it will be well to 
trust one's dealer. If plates are used several extra 
plate-holders should be taken along, an added en- 
cumbrance on a long trip. Plates, of course, can only 
be taken from the original box and placed in the 
holders in utter darkness or by ruby light. The 
former method is sometimes used by experts in the 
evening, the user covering himself, plates, and holders 
with a blanket to ensure perfect darkness. It is a 
matter of feeling only, and should not be attempted 
unless one is perfectly familiar with one's apparatus. 
A small folding ruby lantern, used with a candle, can 
be taken along and used in the tent at night. There 
should be no camp-fire near by, however. 

It is strongly urged that no developing of plates 

or films be attempted by the amateur on a long trip, 

the exposed views being carefully kept 

eve oprng ^j^|.-j ^^^ return home. For this reason 
no apparatus should be taken with which one is not 
quite familiar, else it cannot be known what mis- 
takes are being made. If field development is in- 
sisted on, either a bulky outfit for plates must be taken 
or film-rolls must be used and developed with a Kodak 
Tank Developing Machine ($6 for size 4x5), which 
can be done by daylight. Developing supplies, 
especially put up for this tank, may be had of all 

Photography 403 

dealers. Personally I have not used the tank, but 
there is no doubt that excellent results have been 
obtained with it. In permanent camps dark-rooms 
may be improvised, the usual one being a small tent, 
but to avoid accidents it should be used only at 
night. No directions for developing need be given 
here, as there are numerous excellent pamphlets 
on the subject, and the implements needed are of 
infinite variety. 

It is difficult to say much about lenses without 
becoming technical and obscure. The catalogue 
of such firms as Bausch & Lomb (Roch- j 
ester, N, Y.), C. P. Goerz (52 E. Union ^"^* 

Square, New York), ^nd Cooke (Taylor, Taylor & 
Hobson, 1 1 35 Broadway, New York) will give the 
reader clear ideas of the different styles and their 
uses, so that a choice can be made according to the 
•hotographer*s needs. To give an idea of the cost 
of a camera for ordinary woods work, I will say that 
the 4x5 Auto-Graflex which I have been using, 
and which is fitted with a No. 5 Zeiss Tessar iiB 
lens and has a leather carrying case and film-pack 
adapter, cost, inclusive, $140, the price, of the lens 
alone being $40. The lens may be bought directly 
from the maker, but it is better to have the maker 
of the camera buy and fit the lens himself. 

One great advantage of the Graflex and its like 
over the smaller cameras is the focal-plane shutter, 
which is merely a black curtain containing 
slits of different widths, any one of which 
may be used, according to the desired length of ex- 
posure, from -J to ybW o^ ^ second. This possibility 

404 The Way of the Woods 

of extreme shortness of exposure is the secret of 
clear instantaneous pictures. The smaller cameras 
are fitted with "iris** shutters, which really only 
reduce or enlarge the influx of light and are therefore 
not fitted for very quick snapshots. 

If you are able to approach within a short distance 
of an animal the ordinary quick lens, say with a 
Long Focal focal length of 8i inches (Auto-Graflex), 
Length i,e. from plate to lens, will be found sat- 
isfactory, but at the distances at which one is apt 
to obtain chance interviews with the kindred of the 
wild the pictures secured are too small. For this 
reason the experts prefer a camera with a long focal 
lens, such as the ** Naturalist's Cameras/' which 
have a focal capacity of 26 ifiches and can be used 
with a telephoto lens for long-distance work. These 
magnificent cameras are beyond the pocket-book 
of all but the well-to-do or the professional who needs 
them as stock in trade, for, fitted with the proper lens, 
they cost not far from $400, the telephoto attachment 
costing an additional $24. This last magnifies about 
three diameters. 

Still another advantage demanded by experts is 
the reversible or swing back, which enables one to 
bring both foreground and distance into simtdta- 
neous focus. Fronts that drop and rise are very 
convenient for photographing objects much below 
or above the camera. 

Tripods are seldom taken into the woods by any 

but experts, as portraits can be made by setting the 

TriDods camera on a stump or pack-basket. If 

one is used let it be a strong one, and, since 

it may be needed in photographing birds' nests or 

Photography 405 

cf other such objects, it should have fourfold telescopic, 
c extra extension legs. 

Having provided himself with his long-focus 
camera, having a reversible and swing back and ris- 
ing front, his plate-holders, chemicals, field implements 
developing apparatus, and tripod, the real of the 

expert now supplies himself with a number Expert 
of minor but indispensable articles, among which are 
climbing-irons, ball-and-socket clamp for securing 
the camera to trees, green cloth to mask the tripod, 
mirror to secure reflected light, rope to pull up the 
apparatus, a hundred feet of small rubber tubing 
and a rubber bulb for operating the shutter at a 
distance, focussing-cloth (to cover head and camera), 
and perhaps a false tree-trunk or other hiding-place 
made of cloth, from which to observe the timid objects 
of the "hunt." A description of the proper use of all 
these articles would take us much too far afield, but 
can be found in the books of Mr. Dugmore and Mr. 
Brownell, without which the amateur will hardly 
start upon such difficult task. 

The use of the flash-light in the woods requires 
much experience. Personally I have made a failure 
of it through lack of proper preparation. Flash-light 
The apparatus for photographing large Pictures 
animals, like deer, from the bow of a canoe is an 
elaborate one. Descriptions of it have appeared from 
time to time in the sporting magazines. Another 
way to take night pictures of wild creatures is to 
set the camera at a certain distance from a runway 
or other haunt, and make the animal itself set off 
the flash-pistol by striking a wire or other appliance. 

4o6 The Way of the Woods 

Herr Schilling, the German author of Flash-Lights 
in the Jungle, and Mr. Geo. W. Shiras, 3d, in this 
country, have accomplished very remarkable results 
in this branch of the art. 

Nature and the Camera, by A. R. Dugmore ; Photo- 
graphy for the Sportsman Naturalist, by L. W. Brownell ; 
Biblio- Bird Studies with a Camera, by Frank 
graphy M. Chapman; Bird Homes, by A. R. 

The articles by Herbert K. Job and many other 
nature photographers, many of which have appeared 
in Outing and other sporting magazines, are highly 
interesting and profitable reading on this subject. 



While it is generally true that the traditional 
rules of hygiene may be neglected in the woods with 
less risk than in town, owing principally to plenty 
of exercise, the escape from quick changes of tem- 
perature, and the comparative scarcity of germs, 
it is nevertheless foolish to take chances. One can 
be fairly careful of one's health, avoiding too great 
risk of colds, over-exertion, and accidents without 
lapng oneself open to the charge of being a molly- 
coddle. If the camper wears wool next his skin, 
does his full share of the daily work without over- 
doing, and keeps his bowels open, he is pretty sure 
to sleep well, enjoy himself, and return to his every- 
day work with renewed strength and zest. Getting 
wet will not harm the healthy person, but it is well 
not to expose oneself too long to a cold wind when 
wet, nor to sleep in wet clothes or blankets. Such 
advice must be given, though I myself have done 
all those things and thus far never taken cold in 
consequence of them. Of course if the camper is an 
invalid, or temporarily run down in health, he must 
be doubly careful. One reason why plenty of phy- 
sical exercise should be taken is, that the appetite is 
apt to increase alarmingly and the unwonted amou 


4o8 The Way of the Woods 

of food must be digested. Many campers find that 
they cannot sleep well for several nights on going 
into camp. This is partly on account of novel sur- 
roundings and partly in consequence of eating too 
much. Later on it will not matter, but for a few days 
it is better to eat moderately and to masticate thor- 
oughly. This rule, of course, is one of the last to be 
observed, but let it stand. Many campers are more 
or less plagued with constipation, owing principally 
to the change of diet. Plenty of drinking-water and 
exercise, aided perhaps by a grain or two of cascara, 
will generally remedy this. It is well to drink a lot 
of water, good water, except on a long march, as 
when still-hunting, when little liquid should be 
swallowed, though the mouth may be rinsed out 

It is next to impossible to get a hot bath in the 
woods, as not even that tenderfoot anomaly the 
folding bathtub is deep enough to afford a real soak; 
but hot baths are by no means so necessary to the 
woodsman, at least from the hygienic standpoint, as 
to the plaster-dweller, for the good reason that the 
former sweats, or should sweat, daily and copiously. 
Plenty of cold rubbings will keep him clean, as well 
as full attention to the scrubbing of his imderwear. 
Those who are hardy enough should take a plunge 
in the lake or stream on rising, no matter how cold 
the water is, but the rheumatic or otherwise vul- 
nerable should confine themselves to a cold sponge 
oflE in the tent, or enter the lake when the sun is high. 

Over-exertion is a weakness peculiar to the young, 
who would rather "crack** than acknowledge being 
tired; very foolish, no doubt, but "what 's the use?" 
The preacher may, however, allow himself to say 

Hygiene, Medicine, and Surgery 409 

that it is far less meritorious to boast that you have 
carried a canoe a mile without resting, than that 
you have done so with numerous rests but have 
finished perfectly fresh. The obvious remedy — ^and 
this cannot be harped on enough — ^is to take frequent 
rests, even if of short duration. It is wonderful how 
even a half minute's pause and shift of the packs on 
the carry will brace a man up. 

He who wishes to secure needed recuperation during 
a limited stay in the forest should see to it that his 
bed is as comfortable as can be made. If he has no 
air-bed let him spend a half-hour cutting fir-boughs. 
Let the "tough*' camper "throw himself down 
anywhere" and sleep with a rock or two under his 
kidneys. Untroubled sleep the camper must have. 
And let him avoid stimulants. Now is the time to 
drop them, for in the city he has to absorb more than 
enough. Of course it is a matter of the capacity 
and condition of the individual, but in general some 
one of the "detannated" coffees, which are com- 
paratively harmless while tasting "just as good as the 
most injurious," may be recommended, and alcohol 
should be used sparingly if at all. The man is foolish 
who takes it habitually in camp, though a wee nippie 
on a festive occasion, or when tired out or wet through, 
is legitimate and wholesome. 


The question how much medicine to take into camp 
must be answered according to the size of the party 
and the projected length of the stay. As different 
individuals are apt to be persecuted by different ills 
it is better for each person to take what he nee<^<= 


4IO The Way of the Woods 

unless a common medicine-chest, filled by some expert 
member of the party, is agreed upon. Basing my 
recommendations upon the Opinions of half a dozen 
well-known physicians and woodsmen, as well as 
upon my own experience, I have made the following 
list of medicines for one man for a two weeks* trip 
far from physicians: 

A laxative (say i dozen 3 -grain cascara pills, sugar-, not 
chocolate-coated. A pill may be divided for a small dose). 

I dozen 2-grain quinine pills (fever, etc.). ' 

A small vial of laudanum (diarrhoea, etc.). | 

Half dozen 5 -grain antipyrin pills (neuralgia, headache, ! 
severe toothache, etc.). 

Vial of strong ammonia (insect-bites, etc.). (Vials with 
screw-off tops and tiny sponge attached are the best.) 

Large tube of carbolised vaseline. 

Small box of bicarbonate of soda. 

Vial tincture of arnica. 

Half dozen mustard-plasters. 


Nose-bleed. Not harmful unless too profuse. Lie down 
and apply a piece of cold metal or cloth dipped in cold water 
to the nape of the neck. If ineffectual snuff up salt and water ; 
then plug the nose with cotton. 

Chills, Take a hot drink and wrap up, toasting the feet 
before the fire. Change to dry clothing as soon as possible. 

Colds. Colds are seldom the result of camp life, but are 
generally brought into the woods from town. Keep warm 
and dry and avoid changes of temperature. Keep the bowels 
open and sleep warm, using a hot-water-bottle if at hand. 
If you are robust the lumberman's cure is efficacious: Take 
a hot drink at night on going to bed, perhaps with a drop of 
lemon-juice and a "stick," and sleep with extra clothes on to 
induce a copious sweat. 

Sore Feet. Oft-bathed feet seldom get sore, and in the wcx>ds 
involuntary baths are the rule, so that even a slovenly person 
"'.eeps his feet soft. If they do get sore, perhaps from wearing 

.occasins for the first time on stony ground, they should 

Hygiene, Medicine, and Surgery 411 

be soaked and rubbed with tallow, soap, or vaseline. If on 
a long tramp it is better to give them a partial rest for a day, 
as a serious stone-bruise is apt to deprive such a trip of most 
of its fun. Coat the inside of the socks with soap. Cover a 
badly chafed spot with surgeon s plaster. 

Constipation may be treated with a moderate dose of 
cascara or other laxative; plenty of water should be drunk 
and an extra portion of stewed fruit or preserves eaten. 

Diarrhoea may be combated with a light dose of cascara, 
followed, after each passage, by ten drops of laudanum. 

Malaria is rare in the north woods. Quinine may be taken. 

For Fever give 5 grains of quinine daily ; more if severe. Keep 
the bowels open, and do not cover up too warmly. 

Sleeplessness is usually a matter either of nerves or of 
indigestion. If the latter the remedy is plain: a pill and 
abstemiousness. If the former: lots of work. Never mind 
if you do lie awake a little. There is a charm about that, 
watching the camp-fire die out and listening to all the mys- 
terious noises of the night. (Read S. E. White s fine chapter 
in The Forest.) 

Lumbago, Local Stiffness, etc. Rubbings (with arnica), hot 
applications, mustard-plasters. 

Ivy-Poisoning. Poisoning from contact with poison-ivy 
{rhus radicans) or its cousin the poison-'sumac {rhus vernix) 
is best treated by rubbing the affected parts with cooking- 
soda (or baking-powder) and water. Washing soda (car- 
bonate) will not do; bicarbonate is needed. If no soda is 
handy use a strong lye of wood-ashes, or salt and water. I 
have seen wonderfully quick cures of bad cases effected by 
applications of whiskey. Alder bark chewed up was one of 
the old woods remedies. 

Sunstroke must be treated by lowering the temperature 
of the body. Remove most of the patient's clothing and 
place him in a cool, airy place. Apply cold water to the 
forehead, chest, and armpits. Dash him with cold water, 
but not too cold. Keep him cool until he recovers. 

Emetics. In case an emetic is needed tickle the throat 
and drink large quantities of lukewarm water. If this does 
not suffice mix a spoonful of mustard in the water. Gun- 
powder and warm water is a good emetic, but nowadays 
black gunpowder is seldom to be had in camp. 

412 The Way of the Woods 

Burns of a light nature are treated by applying cloths 
soaked in a solution of baking-soda (bicarbonate), a tea- 
spoonful to a. half-pint of water; or the soda may be rubbed 
on dry. The white of an egg and carbolised vaseline are 
also good. 

If the bum is severe prick any blisters that may rise and 
apply dressings of sweet oil, or, as that is almost never to be 
found in camp, with vaseline. If any part of the clothing 
has a tendency to stick to the flesh do not attempt to remove 
it, or the flesh may tear off with it. Pour oil on it, g^un-oil, 
if nothing else is at hand, and it will gradually come off of 
itself. If the patient has received a mental shock 30 drops 
of laudanum may be given him (to a child as many drops 
as he has years). Keep the wounds dressed with oil, or any 
oily substance free from salt. 

Scalds may be treated in like fashion. 

Frostbite is treated by restoring the temperature gradually 
to the normal 99° Fahrenheit. Rub the bitten parts, soak 
them in fairly hot water, and apply warm wet cloths. If 
you are in the woods far 'from camp, rub the afflicted part 
vigorously with snow if there is any. If not, it does n't matter, 
for, contrary to the belief of the old woodsmen, it is the 
rubbing and not the snow that does the trick. By the same 
token warm water is far better than cold for frosted feet. 

A badly frozen person should be treated with great care, 
the normal temperature being restored very gradually. Wrap 
him in well-heated blankets and rub hands and feet wi^ 
your own hands. 

Rheumatic persons had better bring a little of their favour- 
ite liniment with them, as well as a few flannel bandages. 

Persons liable to serious attacks of illness should not 
venture far from their physicians. Healthy people can in 
most cases throw off mild attacks; courage has a lot to do 
with the cure. 


In addition to the above-named medical remedies 
the following list of surgical supplies should be in 
every camp far from civilization : 


Hygiene, Medicine, and Surgery 413 

Pair of dressing forceps. 

Three or four surgeon's needles (straight and curved). 

A yard or two of two sizes of surgeon's silk, and a few 
catgut ligatures, in a tube. 

One first-aid packet for each person. 

One medium small surgeon's knife or scalpel. 

One hypodermic syringe. Have in its case: Tube of 
cocain-morphine tablets, tube of morphine-atropine tadlets, 
and tube of strychnine-sulphate tablets. 

A quantity of 2 -inch surgeon's adhesive plaster. 

One dozen bichloride of mercury tablets. (One in a quart of 
water gives an antiseptic solution for wounds.) 

Small vial dioxygen. 

Small box boric acid powder. 


* Among accidents necessitating surgical treatment 

3 are wounds, fractures, and sprains. 

i Wounds may be either contused (a "black eye**), 

f incised (plain cuts), lacerated (ragged tears), punc- 

^ tured (with fish-hook or nail) or gunshot wounds. 

Contusions. Contused or bruised wounds are the result 
of hard knocks with or against blunt surfaces; the skin may 
or may not be ruptured. Discoloration often sets in, 
owing to the escape of the blood from small vessels 
under the skin. If the skin is not broken but the bruise is 
very painful treat it with cold wet cloths or vaseline. After 
the pain has subsided use hot cloths or, better at first, lauda- 
num and water. If the skin is broken get all dirt and foreign 
substances out of the wound and apply warm cloths. Do 
not close the wound, but treat with vaseline or some other 
ointment for several days. 

Cuts. Slight cuts may be washed, covered with a vase- 
lined cloth, and tied up securely; they will usually heal 
from "first intention" without any show of pus. If 
the cut is of any size, but not deep, bring the edges 
together after the bleeding has stopped and keep them in 

414 The Way of the Woods 

that position by placing one or more strips of surgeon's 
plaster across the cut, not lengthwise with it. This leaves 
space for the escape of pus if any forms. No deep cut should 
be completely closed up on any account. 

If a severe cut bleeds excessively note whether the blood 
is dark and comes steadily (from a vein), or in spurts and is 
light (from an artery). If from a vein the danger is less. 
Keep the wounded part raised and press on the 'wound with 
clean cloth or piece of gauze, soaked in cold "water if the 
bleeding will not stop; if still in vain put a tight bandage 
(tourniquet or "Spanish windlass") near the wound but on 
the side farthest from the heart, as venous blood flows 
towards the heart. 

If the bleeding is from an artery (from the heart) it is a 
more serious matter. If the flow is rapid wash your hands 
as quickly as possible and check the bleeding (after elevating 
the wound) by pressure with thumb and finger. A knowledge 
of the position of the larger arteries will be of great assistance 
here, for a pressure at the right place will arrest bleeding 
at once in most cases. If the flow will not stop make a tour- 
niquet (see below) next the wound and on the side nearest 
the heart, from which the blood is rushing. If the artery 
is an important one and the loss of blood threatens to become 
serious, it must be tied up at all hazards, and, though in most 
cases there will be nobody present who has ever done such a 
thing, somebody must pull himself together and nerve him- 
self to the task, which in itself is not so bad. It consists in 
washing the cut free from blood, discovering the bleed- 
ing end of the artery, getting hold of it with the forceps 
and tying up the end with catgut. To do this the catgut is 
looped round the handle of forceps doubly, and the loose 
loop pushed down the handle and over the end of the artery, 
where it is drawn tight. This can best be done by another 
person. Then wash the wotmd with a solution of bichloride of 
mercury, and put on the lintine from the first-aid packet, 
binding it down with one of the first-aid bandages. If the 
edges of the wound do not close, or the cut is very deep, 
they will have to be sewn up with silk, starting the needle 
i inch from the edge and going to the other end of the wound. 
Then dress as above. 

It is needless to warn against handling the flesh with the 

Hygiene, Medicine, and Surgery 415 

hands and allowing any dirt to get into the wound. If it is 
absolutely necessary to use the hand wash it in the solution. 

All bad wounds require rest. Take no chances when far 
from surgical aid. Blood-poisoning would be a very bad 

The accompanying cuts will show how tourniquets can be 
made of handkerchiefs or braces and billets of wood. Place 
a pebble directly over the artery. They should not be kept 
on longer than necessary. 

Fig. 71. — Tourai- Fig. 72.-Span- 

quet, for Stopping 
Bleeding from a 
Forearm Artery. 
{From yohnsan and 
yohnsofis Hand-book 
of First Aid,) 

ish Windlass, 
to Stop Bleed- 
ing from Arm 
{Hand-book of 
First Aid.) 

Fig. 73.— Windlass, 
to Stop Bleeding 
from a Thigh 
Artery. (Black line 
shows course of 
Artery.) {Hand-book 
of First Aid,) 

Leave the dressing on for one or two day« in case every- 
thing seems to be well, and then examine the wound. If 
there is no inflammation dress and bandage again. Take out 
the stitches at the end of a week. In two or three days 
there will likely be a flow of pus, which must be allowed 
egress by daily dressings. 

4i6 The Way of the Woods 

If there is no surgeon's silk or needle in camp, ordinary 
silk or even cotton thread will do, and an ordinary needle, 
but the thread should be boiled for five minutes before use. 
Do not stitch the scalp, and in general avoid stitching if 
possible, as nasty scars may result. Shave or cut off all hair 
that interferes with plaster or stitching. 

If the patient feels faint give him a little hot brandy or 
whiskey from time to time. 

In surgical work of all kinds the hypodermic syringe may 
be used to great advantage (See below.) 

Lacerations. Lacerated wounds should be cleansed of 
all dirt and washed with a solution of bichloride of mercury. 
Then treat with cloths wet with laudanum, and afterwards 
apply the dressing and bandage from the first-aid packet. 

This is a cure-all for wounds with some, who dress the 
Boric Acid '''^^^^^ '^^^ ^*» stufl&ng them full of the add. 
It is good and handy. 

Punctures. If a needle breaks off deep in the flesh do 
Needles ^^* attempt to recover the buried part. Keep 
the other part and seek the aid of a surgeon 
as soon as possible. 

Punctures with nails and such things, especially if 

rusty, should be squeezed and hot water poured into the 

Nails hole. If too small this may be slightly enlarged. 

Then rub in vaseline. Keep the wound open 

for a few days. 

If the barb of a fish-hook becomes embedded in the flesh 

remove the line and cut or file off the broad end of the hook. 

Fish-hooks '^^^^ push the barb on through the flesh. Wash 

and dress with vaseline. The hypodermic may 

be used here. 

Small splinters are removed with a needle. Those under 

the nails are frequently awkward and very painful. Scrape 

Splinters *^® ^^^^ ^ *^"* ^ possible over the splinter; 

cut a little piece out in order to get hold of the 

splinter with the forceps or your fly-nippers. 

Hygiene, Medicine, and Surgery 417 

sprains, if slight, need only to be rubbed well and allowed 
^' a rest. A sprained ankle can be walked off, but this is a very 
1" dangerous experiment, and by no means to be recommended. 
'* Severe sprains are treated with hot water, either by immers- 
^ ing the sprained part in as hot water as can be borne, or by 
'*' hot applications often renewed. A badly sprained wrist 

should be kept between padded splints. 
'^ Insect-bites, Treat with a drop of ammonia as soon as the 

bite is felt. Failing ammonia, rub with raw onion, with soda 
f*. and vinegar mixed, or plain soda, or, finally, salt. 

Snake-bites, If non-poisonous treat as if an insect-bite. 
1* If poisonous tie a handkerchief or some other ligature round 
i* the bitten member between it and the heart to stop the 
^ circulation of the poison. Suck the wound immediately and 
i} then cauterise it with a hot iron, hot enough actually to bum 

the flesh. Take a few good drinks of whiskey and pour 
'^ ammonia into the bite. The whiskey braces the patient up 
i* and destroys any tendency to fear, which is the worst state 

for him to be in. There is generally no cause for worry in the 

north woods, even if bitten by a rattler, as death very seldom 
\i results, a badly swollen arm or leg being the worst to be 
1 apprehended. If in a snake country, take permanganate of 
1^ potash, which, after making a tourniquet and allowing the 

wound to bleed freely, should be injected. 

Bites of Dogs, Cats, Rats, etc. Suck the wotmd and treat 
i it with carbolised vaseline. If there is any chance of the 
i dog being diseased wash the wound first thoroughly. The 
4 dread of the severe consequences of a dog-bitfe is generally 
i' quite unnecessary. The scratch of a cat is apt to be more 

dangerous, as the claws may be contaminated with carrion 

or other rotten matter. 
i^ Infected wounds. If there is reason to fear infection keep 
if the wound open to permit discharges. If fever should be 
} present give a cathartic and daily doses of 5 grains of quinine. 
ii (Half to a child.) 

Dislocations, If a joint becomes dislocated there will be 

pain and comparative immobility; the pain is from torn 
1^ ligaments. A finger out of joint can usually be replaced 
SJf by pulling. A thumb is far more obstinate ; pulling 
jj^ hardly ever helps. Bepi it far back towards the wrist and 
if press at the same time against the base of the dislocated 

41 8 The Way of the Woods 

bone, "pushing it away from the wrist and downward 
towards the pahn." (Dulles.) To reduce a dislocation of 
the jaw: Cover the thumbs with cots or wear gloves; seize 
the sides of the patient's jaw with thumbs and fingers, the 
thumbs resting on the teeth and the fingers under the jaw. 
Now press very firmly, first downwards and then backwards. 
Be quick to withdraw the thumbs as the jaw slips into place, 
or they may be badly bitten. To replace a dislocated shaidder: 
Lay the patient down, remove your boot and sit down by 
him face to face ; place one heel in his armpit and pull 
the arm into place. If this does not succeed easily better 
wait for a surgeon, which should also be done in case of 
other dislocated joints, such as the" back or legs. Treat the 
dislocation with laudanum and cold water and hunt ttp a 

Fractures are called simple when the skin is not broken; 
compound when the bone cuts through the skin and com- 
municates with the air. Unless somebody of exi>erience in ' 
such matters is in camp nothing but emergency treatment 
should be attempted. This consists of placing round the ! 
limb cold bandages, to prevent swelling, and then putting it 
in splints. In the case of a compound fracture it must first 
be washed with the antiseptic solution, like any wound. If 
you are far from any surgical aid and your judgment tells 
you that something must -be done to set the bone, get the 
necessary splints and bandages ready, and then pull on each 
side of the fracture, as much as possible in a direct line along 
the direction of the bone, until the broken parts come together. 
Pull steadily and do not twist. This is not so difficult with a 
broken arm. Grasp the hand in one of yours, and with the 
other seize his arm above the break and pull. The thigh 
is easier to treat than the calf, having but a single bone. 
In case no setting can be done, and after treating with cold 
compresses for half an hour, get the broken part into splints 
to hold it in place and prevent injury and pain while moving 
the patient. Lose no time in getting a surgeon. 

Splints should be light but sufficiently strong, and should 
alwajrs be a little longer than the injured limb. The best 
shape is that of a light board, but many other things will 
do, as stifE bark, parts of wooden fishing-rod-form split up, 
sticks, etc. Anyone handy with the hatchet can make the 



Hygiene, Medicine, and Surgery 419 

jr proper thing in a jiffy. Padding is always necessary. Pads 
y; may be made of anything soft, dry moss doing very well in 
., default of plenty of cloth or cotton. Do not bind the splints 
■^ on so tightly as to hinder circulation. If the break is a very 
bad one an imitation of the surgical "fracture-box" may be 
made of a tube of some stiff bark, in which the limb is firmly 
encased after swathing with paddings. 


Injured persons should be carried in litters made 
\^ from poles and canvas, or a sleeping-bag or blanket. 
:: Those carrying the litter should not keep step, a rule 
i^ easy to adhere to in the woods. 


•f' A good syringe in an aluminum case costs about 
" $2.25. The following directions are condensed froni 
^, the article by Dr. H. Plympton in the catalogue of 
^ Messrs. Abercrombie & Fitch, by permission of that 
-i firm. 

^ Dr. Plympton gives four remedies for use in the 

syringe, but one of them, potassium permanganate, 
for venomous bites, is hardly necessary in the north 
^, woods. The other three are: 

\. Cocaine-morphine tablets (cocaine, J grain ; morphine, 

A grain; soda chloride, ^ grain. 

; !- Morphine tablets, J grain each. 

Strychnia ** ^ grain each. 

The object of hypodermic medication is to get the remedy 
^, into the blood as quickly as possible and to introduce it as 

near as may be to the seat of injury or the pain. To insure 
^ its rapid assimilation by the blood, the medicine should be 
^ injected just between the skin and the muscles underneath; 
\ in other words, into the fat. 

^. Use. Dissolve the tablet to be used in the proper amount 

J of water, or put any solution to be used into a teaspoon or 

42 o The Way of the Woods 

what you may have that will hold it. A leaf properly folded 
will do; even the hollow of the hand in an emergency. You 
will find a fine wire run through the hollow needle to keep 
it clear. Remove this. Remove the cap from the end of 
the syringe and suck up the solution from the teaspoon by 
drawing out the piston of the syringe. Screw the needle 
firmly on the end of the syringe from which the cap was 
removed. Hold the syringe with the needle pointing upwards 
and press gently on the piston until the fluid begins to come 
out of the needle. This is to force all the air out of the syringe. 

Now take up a fold or pinch of skin between the thumb 
and forefinger, insert the needle with a rotary motion of the 
syringe, as when boring a hole with ail awl, being careful not 
to press on the piston while so doing. Keep the needle in a 
line with the line of the fold and it will be in correct position. 

The needle will slip through the skin quickly and almost 
painlessly. Push it in its full length. Now press firmly on 
the piston and force it in slowly until the contents have been 
injected, being careful to keep the syringe in position. With- 
draw the needle, and with the thumb press on the little hole 
made by the needle; with the first and second fingers rub 
the swelling made by the injected fluid for a few moments 
and it will disappear, leaving nothing but a tiny red spot. 

Location. If the injection be made between the skin and 
the muscles, as described, it may be made anywhere on the 
body, although just over a bone that is close to the surface, 
as the shin bone, or on the back of the hand, are places to 
be avoided. Also in the bend of the elbows and knees and 
in the armpits are vessels that would be injured by the careless 
use of the syringe. The outside of the forearm or the upper 
arm, and calf of the leg, or the thigh, the big muscles of the 
buttocks, and the shoulders, and anywhere on the back are 
all places where the needle may be used without hesitation. 

A short needle, three eighths of an inch long, accompanies 
most outfits, and this may be used without taking up a fold 
of the skin; simply jabbed quickly and fimaly as deep as it 
will go straight into any one of the big muscles. 

The dangers in the use of the hypodermic are practically 
nothing. Exercise the same amount of care as in administer- 
ing medicine by the mouth and no harm can be done ; and, 
as m the case of a rattlesnake wound, the advantages are so 


Hygiene, Medicine, and Surgery 421 

D|ir immeasurably ahead of any treatment by the mouth, even 

jBf if it were dangerous, it would be worth taking the chance. 

ei Precautions. Be sure that the tablet is thoroughly dissolved, 

121 or you may force a piece into the needle and spoil it. Ten 

^ drops of water will dissolve any one tablet, and fifteen will 

3: suffice for any two, especially if the water be warm. Do 

i. not use more than this, tmless by direction. After using 
the syringe, and before removing the needle, draw up some 
water and eject it to clear the needle. A little vaseline 

♦iir or gun grease on the wire will prevent the needle from 

y rusting. 

;^ For minor surgical operations the cocaine and morphine 

f, tablet should be used as follows: Dissolve one tablet in one 

j*i teaspoonful of water and take up a syringeful of the solution. 

.,< Inject half the quantity under the skin, not deep, where the 

^, cut is to be made. Almost immediately the skin will become 

i. waxlike — this will indicate that the part is benumbed, so 

jj5 that an incision can be made without causing pain. Make 

^ a sufficient number of injections to cover the part to be cut. 

>, The surface benumbed by each injection will be about the 

^ size of a 2 5-cent piece. 

^ For allaying intense pain and physical suffering morphine 

;j should be used by dissolving one tablet (one-quarter grain) 

jj in about ten drops of water and injecting it under the skin 

^. as near the seat of the pain as possible. If the pain is caused 

\^ by some injury, such as a broken bone or a severe bum, and 

A* is likely to last, a second tablet may be given in fifteen 

^ minutes and a third one twenty minutes later. Pain is the 

,« antidote for morphine, and as long as pain exists there is no 

/ danger from a much larger dose than the above. If, however, 

.. the pain arises from some cause such as cramps, that are 

jj likely to end abruptly, the above dose is enough. 

.. For exhaustion, shock, great fatigue, hunger, heart failure, 

V strychnia should be used as follows: Dissolve the tablet in 

jj ten drops of water and inject into the outside of the arm, 

j midway between the elbow and shoulder. The condition of 
exhaustion, whether from great exertion, loss of blood, or 

J himger, has caused a marked depression of the heart's action 

^ and the nervous system is noticeably affected. The patient 

^ is pale, a cold perspiration covers the face, the breathing 

A is shallow and quick, and the pulse is faint and very rapid. 

42 2 The Way of the Woods 

One injection will show a decided effect, but if a second is 
necessary fifteen minutes afterward do not hesitate to give it. 

Drowning. The instructions of the U. S. Volunteer 
Life-Saving Corps are as follows: 





Approach the drowning from the rear, seizing them by 
the collar — if a woman, by the back hair — and tow them at 
arm's length to safety. Do not let them cling around your 
neck or arms to endanger you ; duck them under until uncon- 
scious, if necessary to break a dangerous hold upon you, but 
do not strike to stun them. 

(i) Drawing Tongue Forward 

First, Do not delay an instant, and do not carry the 
patient face downward, or with feet higher than head. Imme- 
diately loosen the clothing about the neck and chest, exposing 
them to the wind, except in very severe weather. Try tick- 
ling in the throat with a straw or feather, or hold ammonia to 
the nose; give a severe slap with open hand upon the chest 
and soles of the feet. If no immediate result, after drawing 
the tongue forward in the mouth with handkerdhief , cloth, 
string, or pinchers, proceed to get the water out of the body 
as below. 

(2) Forcing the Water Out 

Second, Lay the body, with its weight on the stomach, 
across any convenient object, a buoy, keg, box, boat, timber 
or your knee, in the open air, with the head hanging down. 
Press firmly on the back, between the shoulder blades ; hold 
the tongue forward in the mouth and keep it in this position 
3 as to let the water escape and help breathing. Keep the 
louth clear of liquid. Roll the body gently from side to side 

Hygiene, Medicine, and Surgery 423 

so as to relieve the pressure on the stomach, then back to the 
stomach. Do this several times to force the water from the 
stomach and throat. 

(3) Restoring Breath, First Movement 

Third. Laying the body on back, make a roll of a coat 
or any garment, place it under shoulders of patient, allowing 
the head to fall back; then, kneeling at the head, grasp the 
arms at the middle of the forearms, folded across the stomach ; 
raise the arms over the head to a perpendicular position, 
drawing them backwards straight, then forward over head, 
to the sides again, pressing the arms on the lower part of the 
ribs and sides, so as to produce a bellows movement upon 
the lungs. Do this sixteen times a minute. Smelling salts, 
camphor or ammonia may be applied to the nostrils to excite 

(4) Restoring Breath, Second Movement 

Fourth. On signs of life, or when breathing is restored, the 
clothing should be removed, the body dried, and the limbs, 
arms, and body rubbed briskly towards the heart to restore 
circulation, then wrap in warm blankets or hot cloths. To 
encourage circulation, brandy or any spirits may be given, 
in small doses, with care to avoid strangulation, and brisk 
rubbing and warmth applied to the entire body. 

Keep at work for hours until recovery, or tmtil death is 
pronounced by a physician. 

Stimulants should be given with great caution. 
Warm fluid nourishment (bouillon, etc.) is much 
better at first. 

Over-exertion. If you arrive in camp quite **all 
in," take a hot drink of bouillon, coffee, Jamaica 
ginger, or whiskey, and eat a bite of something at 
the same -time. Lie down for a bit with a blanket 
round you and ruminate on the joy of getting back 
to camp . 

424 The Way of the Woods 

Starving persons. Give a starving person little at 
a time, and let that be well-cooked and digestible, 
like gruel or broth. Do not let him eat his full for 
a day at least. 

Thirst, Nor should those on the verge of death 
by thirst be allowed to drink more than a few 
spoonfuls at a time, though that much may be 
given often. 

On the march if no water is to be had relief can 
be secured by holding a pebble in the mouth or by 
chewing some kind of innoxious leaf or gum. 



It has seemed best to mention at the end of each 
chapter or paragraph dealing with a specific subject 
a few of the best books directly connected with that 
subject, so that the works already enumerated must 
form by far the larger part of the bibliography which 
I have tried to make an unique feature of this manual. 

It only remains, therefore, to make mention of a 
few volumes in the various divisions of American 
woods-literature that may be heartily recommended 
to my readers. 

The compilation of a really complete and authorita- 
tive list of nature-books would be a long and difficult 
task, though the object would be a worthy one; but 
it is hoped that the list of books enumerated below, 
though by no means including all the good ones on 
subjects connected with forest life, will be a source 
of stimulation and suggestion. 

I am indebted to several of the best sporting 
authorities in the cotmtry for assistance in its compil- 

Thoreau's works should be in every nature-lover's 
library, as well as all those of John Burroughs; these 
are already classics. Of the younger General Na- 
school it is difficult to make a selection, so ture -Books 
numerous are the really excellent books. Among 


426 The Way of the Woods 

them are the works of Bradford Torrey and John Muir; 
Dr. H. van Dyke's Fisherman's Ltu:k, Little Rivers, 
and other works; W. H. Boardman's In the Woods; 
John C. Van Dyke's Nature for its Own Sake; Er- 
nest McGaffey's Outdoors; R. E. Robinson's Hunting 
without a Gun; Stewart E. White's In the Silent Places 
and The Forest; Hamlin Garland's The Trail of the 
Gold Seekers, Here too we may mention the new 
school of popular nature-writers represented by C. 
G. D. Roberts and E. T. Seton, about whose works 
so much discussion has taken place. Although it is 
understood that both these gentlemen, who frankly 
confess their stories to be only fiction although 
founded on close observation of nature, have here 
and there slightly overstepped the bounds of the 
probable if not of the possible, we must not forget 
that they have done much to arouse a wide-spread 
interest in the things of nature. Furthermore, many 
of their writings, such as Mr. Roberts's Kindred of the 
Wild and Mr. Seton's Trail of the Sandhill Stag, are 
as charming as they are instructive. Unfortunately, 
certain of the imitators of these popular writers are 
careless observers of nature and must also be the 
possessors of elastic consciences; for their writings 
teem with inaccuracies and contain serious per- 
versions of the truth, as well as a mawkish, 
unwholesome sentimentality. It may be that 
Mr. Burroughs has been unnecessarily severe with 
some of these gentlemen, but one cannot escape 
the conviction that his indignation is justified. 
As will be seen by a perusal of this chapter, 
there is a wide choice of good books without de- 
•'iending to the level of the productions of the 

On Nature- Books 427 

The writers of ** strenuous fiction" constitute another 
class of outdoor prophets. While it is generally 
admired, I must confess to a personal dislike of the 
sensational in any art. What a delight to turn from 
one of these feverish compositions to the genial charm 
of a story like Albert Bigelow Paine*s Tent Dwellers, 
or Prime's / Go a-Fishing. There is, too, the verse of 
Nessmuk, Dr. W. H. Drummond, C. G. D. Roberts, and 
Bliss Carman. And if we care to read of adventure 
there are Caspar Whitney's On Snow- /^^^^^^^^ 
shoes to the Barren Grounds and President 
Roosevelt's Wilderness Hunter, and other similar 
books, without going outside American subjects. 
Dillon Wallace's Lure of the Labrador Wild, Shultz's 
fascinating My Life as an Indian, and Grinnell's 
Black foot Lodge-Tales and Pawnee Hero Stories and 
Folk-Tales may also be mentioned here. Wild 
stories of battle and bloodshed may be had in the 
elder volumes dealing with the careers of real fighters 
like Custer, Miles, and others. 

A number of voltunes dealing almost exclusively 
with camping-out have recently appeared, the best 
being H. Kephart's Camping and Wood- ^ . 
craft which, however, deals mostly with 
regions to the west of us, and does not treat of such 
subjects as hunting, fishing, canoeing, trapping, or 
photography. S. E. White's Camp and Trail is also 
more valuable to the Westerner; it is strong on the 
subject of pack-train tours, but does not deal with 
hunting, fishing, or photography. Good old Ness- 
muk's Woodcraft did much good in its day, but (I 
almost hesitate to breathe such heresy!) is now 
in. some ways rather out of date. 

428 The Way of the Woods 

Some good popular voltime on natural history 
should be in every home, whether that of a sportsman 
Natural or not. The best I am acquainted with 
History is Hornaday's American Natural History, 
written for the unscientific, but full of information 
imparted in a very pleasing manner, and extremely i 
well illustrated. Of late there have appeared many 
excellent volimies dealing with the intimate life of 
wild creatures, some of which have already been 
named. Among others are Ernest Ingersoirs Wild 
Neighbors, The Wit of the Wild, and Wild Life of 
Orchard and Field; this field is very large. 

Of out-and-out hunting books there is no end. 
Many have already been mentioned. We may 
„ ^ add President Roosevelt's Anterican Big 

Game in its Haunts (with G. B. Grinnell), 
Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter; Grinnell's 
Trail and Camp-fire; W. B. Leffingweirs Wild-Foui 
Shooting; and the best book on taxidermy, Mr. 
Homaday's Taxidermy and Zoological Collecting, 

The standard bird-book for our section of the 
country is Frank M. Chapman's Birds of Eastern 
g. - North America, with which may be men- 

tioned the same author's Color Key to North 
American Birds, and Bird Studies with a Camera; 
also Mabel O. Wrights Birdcraft, A. K. Fisher's 
Hawks and Owls, A. R. Dugmore's Bird Homes, 
H. E. Parkhurst's How to Name the Birds, F. H. 
Herrick's Home Life of Wild Birds, F. S. Mathews's 
Field Book of Wild Birds and their Music, and C. A. 
Reed's North American Birds' Eggs, The older 
?'orks of Bradford Torrey and Olive Thome Miller 

On Nature- Books 429 

are also delightful. Bird Lore and The Auk are the 
best magazines dealing with ornithology. 

The standard work on fish is American Food and 
Game Fishes ^ by Jordan and Evermann. Other books 
dealing with game fish and angling have ^^^ 

been mentioned in our chapter on Fishing, 
Among interesting and instructive books of less 
technical angling interest may be named E. A. 
Samuels's With Fly-Rod and Camera, and Charles 
Bradford's The Brook Trout and the Determined 

In the Insect world may be recommended C. M. 
Weed's Nature Biographies. 

Coming to plants and trees the following may be 
considered representative authorities: F. D. Mathews's 
Field Book of American Wild Flowers, Plants and 
and Familiar Trees and their Leaves; Trees 

F. T. Parsons's How to Know the WHd Flowers, and 
How to Know the Ferns; H. L. Keeler's Our Native 
Trees and How to Identify them, and Our Northern 
Shrubs; M. G. Peterson's How to Know Wild Fruits; 
H. E. Parkhurst's Trees, Shrubs, and Vines; N. L. 
Marshall's Mosses and Lichens, and Mushroom Book. 
Of juvenile nature-literature there is a vast quantity, 
mostly fiction. An excellent book to put into a boy's 
hands is Dan Beard's Field and Forest Handy Book, 
Another is Mabel O. Wright's Four-Footed Americans 
and their Kin, 

Outing is the leading -sporting monthly of America, 
the editor being Mr. Caspar Whitney, the chief guardian 

430 The Way of the Woods 

of our national amateur sporting reputation. Com 
try Life in America is an interesting and artisti 
p • di 1 Publication, while of the other monthKe 
may be named Recreation and Field on 
Stream, both excellent magazines, that deal almos 
exclusively with wilderness sports. Rod and Gm 
and Motor Sports in Canada and The NatiotuA 
Sportsman complete the list of Eastern outinj 

Of weeklies by far the most important, both ifl 
influence and intrinsic value, is Forest and Strea% 
which I would not willingly be without. Arms and 
the Man is avowedly devoted to the interests of the 
National Guard, but also gives considerable atten- 
tion to field sports. There are a number of minor 
sporting periodicals, such as Carletoft's State of Maim 
Sportsman's Journal (Augusta, Me.), a local monthly 
of interest. 

The Catalogues of the most prominent sporting- 
goods makers and dealers may be properly included 
in our bibliography. The addresses of these finns 
may be got from their advertisements in the pages oi 
the sporting periodicals. 


Adirondacks, 367 
Air-beds, 52 
Alaska, 321, 360, 366 
Aluminum kits, 120 
American Forestry Associa- 
tion, 183 
Ammonia, 39 
Antelope, 365 
Audubon Society, 183 
Automatic Firearms, 320 
Axemanship, 76 
Axes, 75, 78 


Bags, 48, 57, 58, 84, 248 
Bait-fishing, 265 
Baker, folding, 123, 137 
Bandages for wounds, 414, 

Bark, birch, canoes, 87, 94; 

drinking-cup, 82 
Barren-Grounds, 360 
Baskets, 8v, fish-, 231 
Bass, BlacK, 291 
Bay Chaleur, 269 
Bear, Black, 394; Grizzly, 

3^^f 394 
Beard, Dan, 429 
Beds, 49, 15s 
Belts, 19, 329 
Bighorn Sheep, 365 
Birds, game, 140; books 

about, 428; protection of, 

Bivouacs, 51, 173 
Black Bass, 291 
Black flies, 4. 33 

Blankets, 4^ 
Blazing trails, 166 
Boots, 23 ; wading-, 140 
Bradford, Charles, 262, 429 
Brown Trout, 271 
Brownell, L. W., 406 
Brush camps, 73 
Burroughs, John, xv, 425 
Butchering big game, 342, 

Buxton, S., 264 

Cameras, photographic, 398 

Camp, cookery, 119; grounds, 
1 50 ; kits, 119; makmg, 1 50 ; 
slippers, 25 

Camps, 72, 151, 173 

Canada. See separate provin- 

Canadian pack, 85 

Candles, no 

Canoes, 87 

Canoe-carriers, 92; handling, 
97; repairing, 94; tents, 

^ ^7» 74 
Canteen, 80 
Cape Breton, 273 
Carbines, 311 
Cards, playing, 46 
Caribou, 360; shanks, 23 
Cartridges, 307, 327 
Cartridge-belt, 329 
Casting, fly-, 238, 251, 261, 

282; bait-, 296 
Casts, for trout, 229 
Chambers, E. T. D., 291 
Chapman, F. M., 184, 406, 





Chautauqua Lake, 299 
Chocolate, 32, 112 
Cleveland, Grover, 186, 254, 

267, 298 
Clothing, 15 et seq., 246, 338, 

Colds, 410 
Compass, 29, 169 
Conneaut L^e, 299 
Contusions, 413 
Cookery, 119 
Cooking-kits, 119; recipes, 

"Coquina," 10 
Cost of trips, 12 
Cougar, 367 
Creels, 231, 259 
CusLions, 97 
Cuts, 413 

Darling, Lou S., 238, 243, 297 

Deadfall traps, 379 

Deer, 344 ; measurements, 
359; hunting, 350; pre- 
serving meat, 355; skin- 
ning, etc., 355; to esti- 
mate weight, 364 

Dewar, G., 264 

Dislocations, 417 

Dogs, 369 

Dog-bites, 417 

Dress. See Clothing. 

Drowning persons, resusci- 
tation of, 422 

Drummond, W. H., 46, 427 

Dry-flyfishing, 220, 221, 262 

Ducks, 374 

Duffle-bags, 48 

Dugmore, A. R., 401, 406, 

Dutcher, William, 183 

Duxbak clothing 17, 18 

Dyeing fabrics, 70; gut, 217 


Elk, 363 

Elliot, D. G., 361 

Emergency lunch, 32, 112 

Emery-cloth, 47 
Enright, 277 
Ermme, 393 

Feet, care of, 165 1 

Firearms, 40, 303 1 

Fires, camp, 160, 173; oodc- 

ing, 125, 159 
Firewood, 158 
Fish, 189; to cook, 143; to 

cure, 260; to keep fresh, 

Fish-basket, 231, 259; hooks, 

to remove from flesh, 416 
Fisher (fur-bearer), 387 
Fishing, 189, 243, 264 
Fishing-shirt, 21 ; tackle, 190, 

248, 264, 276, 290, 293; 

repairing tackle, 233 
Flies, black, 4, 33 
Flies, trout-, 21S et seq., 253; 

lists of, 226; grayling-, 272 
Fly, for tent, 63, 71 
Fly-blows, 355 
Fly-books and boxes, 227 
Fly-casting, 238, 251 , 261, 282 
Fly-dopes, 35 
Folding baker, 123; lantern, 

Food, 105, 130, 175 
Food-bags, 84 
Footwear, 21, 246; oil for, 22, 

Fox, 390 
Fractures, 418 

Frazer, Perry D., xvii,67, 233 
Frostbite, 412 
Fur, value of, 377 
Fur-bearing anunals, 376 
Furniture, 80, 157, 162; rus- 
tic, 82, 124 
Fuzees, 46, zi6 

Gaffs, 281, 288 

Game birds, 369: laws, 14, 

179, 184 
Garland, Hamlin, 426 



Gibson, W. H., 396 

Gloves, 39, 247 

Glutton, 388 

Goat, Rocky Mountain, 366 

Goose, Canada, 375 

Graflex camera, 401 

Grande D^harge, 290 

Grayling, 271 

Grease, boot, 22; for fire- 
arms, 316 

Grey, Sir E., 264 

Grilse, 274 

Grinnell, G. B., 368, 427, 

Grizzly Bear, 366 

Ground-cloth, 72 

Grouse (partridge), 370; to 
cook, 140; Canada, 372; 
Willow, 373 

Guides, 13, 46, 127, 128 
Guns, 316 
Gun-slmg, 314 
Gut, 209; to stain, 212 


Halford, F., 264 
Hallock, Charles, 186, 288 
Hammond, S. T., 370 
Harding, A. R., 396 
Hares (rabbits), 139 
Harris, W. C, 244 
Hatchets, 78, 160 
Hats, 20 
Head-nets, 37 
Head-wear, 20 
Health, 407 
Henshall, J. A., 272, 292, 

298, JOG 

Hpbnails, 23 

Hooks, fish, 223, 265 

Homaday, W. T., 184, 186, 
289, 344, 357» 359» 360, 
365. 366, 385, 388, 428 

Hudson, W. G., 316 

Hunter, Martin, 396 

Hunting. See separate ani- 
mals and birds. 

Huntington, D. W., 374, 375 

Hygiene, 407 

Hypodermic syringe, 419 

Idaho, 364, 366 
Indian, 21; fire, 161 
IngersoU, Ernest, 428 
Insect-bites, 417 
Insect-dopes, 35 
Insects, 4, $s* ©5 
Insoles, 23 

Job, Herbert K., 406 
Jordan River, N. S., 269 


Keene, J. H., 221, 260, 262 
Kentucky reels, 295 
Kephart, H., 315, 342, 427 
Knapsacks, 42 
Knives, 30 

ICnots, fisherman's, 213; for 
hooks, 223; leader-, 213, 

Kodak cameras, 398 

Labrador, 274 
Ladies' outfits, 61 
Lahave River, N. S., 273 
Lake Champlain, 301 
Lake St. John, 289 
Lake-trout, 268 
Landing-nets, 229 
Landlocked Salmon, 288, 291 
Lanterns, 81 
Larrigans, 22 
Leaders, 209; boxes for, 213; 

how to make, 214; knots 

for, 213. 215 
Leffingwell, W. B., 428 
Leggings. 25 
Leonard, R., 238 
Licenses, 14, 273 
Line-driers, 208 
Lines, fishing, 307 
Liquors, zi6 



Literature, sporting and na- 
ture, 425, and at end of 
each chapter 

Lost, getting, 171 

Lubricants, 202, 208 

Lynx, Canada, 388; Bay, 389 


Mackinaw blankets, 49 ; gar- 
ments, 20 

Ma^^dalen Islands, 6 

Maine, 6, 245, 288, 325. 367* 

Maps, 44 

Marbury, Mary Orvis, 262 

Marten, 387 

Mascalonge, 299 

Match-boxes, ^i, 161, 167 

Matches and nizees, 46, no, 

Matthews, F* D., 429 

Mattresses, 58 

Maxwell, Sir H., 220 

McCarthy, E., 289, 291 

Measuring big game, 359 

Meats, 136 

Medicines, 44, 409 

Michigan, 271 

Midges, 33 

Milk, 109 

Mink, 385 

Minnesota, 364 

Minnow-traps, 266 

Missouri River, 272 

Moccasins, 21, 165; home- 
made, 26 

Money, to carry, 40 

Montana, 272, 365, 367, 394 

Moose, ^21 

Moose hunting, 330; meas- 
urements, 359; muffle, 139; 
shanks, 23; to estimate 
weight, 364 

Mosquitoes, 4, 34 

Mosquito-bars, 71 

Muskrats, 391 ; to cook, 140 


Nails (in shoes), 23, 246; 
wounds from, 416 

Nature-books, 425 
Nature, protection of, 177 
Nepigon River, 6 
"Nessmuk." ir, s5, 37. h 
^109. 125, 427 
Nets, head, 3 7 ; landing, 239, 

2 58; mosquito, 71 
New Brunswick, 6, 269, 273, 

Newfoundland, 6, 269, 272, 

274, 360, 361 
Norris, T., 272 
**No-see-ums," 4, 33 
Note-books, 45 
Nova Scotia, 6, 250, 269, 274, 

323* 389 

Oil. lubricating, 202, 208, 

316; for shoes, 22, 25 
Oilskins, 19, 276 
Open seasons, 350 
Orvis (and Cheney) 262 
Otter. 38^ 
Ouananiche, 288 
Outfit, selection of, x 1 
Oxidising, 237 

Pack, 8s 

Pack-baskets, Ss ; harness, 

Paine, Albert Bigelow, xvii, 

Panther, 367 

Partridge. See Grouse. 

Pemmican, 113 

Pennell, C, 275 

Phillipps-WoUey, C, 367 

Photography, 397 

Pickerel, 301 

Pike, 300 

Pillows, 57 

Pistols, 41, 319 

Plaster, surgeon's, 33 

Playing a trout, 256; a sal- 
mon, 287 

Poison-ivy, 411 

Ponchos, 20, 73 

Porcupines, 185; to cook, 140 



Pork. 1 08 

Port Medway River, N. S., 

Powder, smokeless, 307 
Preston kit, 120 
Prong-horn Antelope, 365 
Protection of nature, 177 
Provision-bags, 84^ 
Provisions, 105 
Ptarmigan, 373 
Puma, 367 

Quail, 373 

Quebec, Provmce of, 6, 269, 
272, 289 

Raccoon, 393 

Rainbow Trout, 371 

Rain-hoods, 21 

Rangeley Lakes, 6, 245, 

Rapids, running, 100, 103 
Reading matter, 45 
Reels, 203, 278, 295 
Reloading cartridges, 307 
Repairing clothing, 26; fish- 
ing tackle, 233 
Repair-kits, 46, 247 
Restigouche River, 273 
Revolvers, 319 
Rhead, L., 262, 291 
Rifles, 40, 303, 306, 326, 347; 

care of, 315 
Roberts, C. G. D., 426 
Rocky Mountain Goat, 366 
Rods, fishing, 191, 264, 276; 
to carry, 261; to repair, 

Roosevelt, T., 183, 186, 324, 

33^y 343. 359» 3^2* 364, 

365* 367* 428 
Ruffed Grouse, 370 
Rust-preventive, 315 

Saguenay River, 289 
Sailing in canoes, 103 

Salmon, 6, 272; fishing, 384; 

tackle, 276 
Salt, no 
Salt-box, 31 ; lick, 
Samuels, B. A., 186, 262, 429 
Sandpaper, 47 
Sausage, 32 

Scents for trapping, 381 
Schilling, Mr., 406 
Sea-trout, 269 
Sebago Lake, 291 
Selous, F. C, 343, 361 
"Seneca," 147 
Senior, W., 302 
Seton, E. T., 359, 362, 365, 

368, 426 
Setting-pole, 102 
Sheep, Mountain, 365 
Shields, G. O., 364, 366 
Shiras, G. W., 406 
Shirts, 17 
Shoepacks, 23 
Shoes, 21, 276 
Shooting, theory of, 303, 3 1 5 ; 

with shotgun, 318; with 

rifle, 348 
Shotguns, 316 
Sickness, 410 
Sights, rifle. 309 313, 339 
Signals, forest, 167, 172 
Signs of direction, 170; of 

weather, 176 
Silver, A. P., 270 
Skinning game, 343, 355 
Skittering, 300, 302 
Skull-cap, 21 
Skunk, 395 

Sleep, importance of, 10, 54 
Sleeping-bags, 49 
Smithsonian Institution, 178 
Soap boxes, 43 
Sore feet, 410 
Splints, 41 S 

Sporting periodicals, 7, 26 
Sprains, 417 

*' Spruce-partridges," 373 
Starving persons, 424 
Stationery, 45 
Steel traps, 380 
Stone, A. J., 333 
Stoves, 69; hot stones, 174 



Sunstroke, 411 
Surgery, 412 

Tackle, fishing, 190, 364; re- 
pairing, 233 

Tents, 63; home-niade, 74; 
how to pitch, 152; insect- 
proof, 65 ; stoves, 69 

Thirst, suffering by, 424 

Thoreau, xv, 425 

Tobacco, 115 

To^ue, 268 

Toilette articles, 43. 57 

Tools, 79 

Torrey, Bradford, 426 

Trailing, 165 

Trapping, 376 

Traps, animal, 378; minnow, 

Trees, 158, 168, 171, 184 

Trolling, 266, 268, 298, 300 

Trousers, 18 

Trout, 180, 243, 368, 269, 
271; fishing, 243; tackle, 

Tump-line, 85 

Turtles, 140 


Underclothing, 15 


Van Dyke, H., xv, 436 
Van Dyke, John C, 436 

Van Dyke, T. S., 332, 35J 

Vegetables, iii, 133, 142 
Venison, 136 


Wading-boots, 24, 246, 876 

Wallace, Dillon, 104 

Wapiti, 363 

War-bag, 48 

Watch, 28, 161; as compass 

Waterproofing clothing, lea- 
ther, etc., 25; tents, 70 

Weasel, 393 

Weather signs, 1 76 

Wells, H. P., 34, 97, 199,^10, 
233, 277 

Where to go, 5 

Whetstones, 43 

White, S. E., 90, 163, 364, 

Whitney, Caspar, xvii, 1S6, 
427, 429 

Wildcat, 389 

Winans, W., 316, 330 

Wisconsin, 299 

Wolverine, 388 

Wood, 158, 168 

Woodcock, 373; to cook. i4i 

Woodcraft, 163 

Wounded, transportation of, 

Wounds, 413 
Wright, Mabel O., 429 
Wyoming, 364, 365, 367